Dancers don’t just leap and twirl — they twitch, writhe and thrash around in pools of water mixed with milk. Such are the surprises bursting across four stages in Bangalore during a landmark festival for international contemporary dance: the Attakkalari India Biennial 2011, which runs through Sunday.
While New Delhi preened over its India Art Summit and and Jaipur managed the multitudes at its Literary Festival last month, Bangalore has made a giant step this year in showcasing cutting-edge dance world-wide while helping young choreographers from India and abroad boost their profile.
This year, aside from spotlighting performers and choreographers from Switzerland, India, South Africa, Great Britain, South Korea, Iraq, Lebanon and other nations, the festival, which began Jan. 28, has drawn an array of overseas professionals from Europe and Australia who run theaters and artists’ residences. They are not only scouting for talent, but looking to host collaborations between dancers in Europe and Asia, as well as find new performance venues for dancers squeezed by the “contraction of resources” in their home countries, explained Eddie Nixon, director of theater and artist development at the Place, a leading center for contemporary dance in London.