He is in everything. He is space and also within it. He embodies time. Gopal Agarwal, founder of Dance Inc India tells us about the theme of his latest production, Namah. In his contemporary dance performance, he juxtaposes Lord Shiva’s potential with Big Bang, the moment where all creation sprang to life.
Agarwal, 27, hails from Delhi and has been promoting and performing contemporary dance in Ahmedabad for the past six years. His family appreciates and encourages dance. He has been pursuing dance since grade 9th and got his formal training, a diploma in dance, in Mumbai. Currently, he teaches contemporary dance at Dance Inc India, Rajpath Rangoli Road. The common thread of his performance is his reference to Indian scriptures and presenting them in a language that Gen Z would appreciate. People born in the mid-to-late 1990s and the early 2010s belong to Gen Z.
When asked about his idea behind choosing Indian mythological characters as the central theme of his performance, he said “Our generation does not see the treasure we have. Indian scriptures and stories have layers, unassuming characters and a message to live by. I attempt to present Shiva or Krishna in the language Gen Z would find ‘cool’. We have to speak in the language of the audience.” His last performance, Karshati performed at Natrani Amphitheatre, portrayed the women in Lord Krishna’s life.
The crew of 11 members rehearsed for six months, 10 hours a day to full off this performance. Their experimental piece is performed on the music of Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi and British-Indian sitarist Anoushka Shankar. Semi-classical dance moves, high decibel music of percussion, indo-western costumes and the theme of Shiva can goosebumps even the last person sitting in the audience.
Their team will be going on stage after a year and this makes them “nervous”. “We will be going on stage after one and a half years. We missed the Live audience and their spontaneous reaction. As a dancer, I don’t have a Plan-B. I’m here to dance and that’s all I want to pursue. This drive sustained me for the months when I couldn’t go on stage.”
During the unprecedented times of Covid social media witnessed a surge of influencers and people of all age groups experimenting with dance and reels. “Most times, people on social media don’t enhance the dance form but degrades it. It bothers me. It takes a lot of practise, patience and passion to pursue dance. It losses its sacredness on social media.” said Gopal.
“Art can wait, but it can never die. We are ready to take our rightful place on stage, again.” The red curtains on the stage, unfurl soon.
You can watch the dance performance, Namah on Aug 1, 7pm at HK Auditorium, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad. Tickets are available on Insider.com. Following Covid-19 guidelines is mandatory.