A biographical dance that retells histories that have not yet been written.

Memorial exhibition Mumbai
presentation 10 December

An Evening with Astad deals with ideas of dance history and archive between two continents.

The piece focuses on the experimental 1970s and ‘80s solos of Astad Deboo, a pioneer of contemporary Indian dance who just turned 70 and whose career spans almost fifty years and five continents. On stage with Deboo, I take on the role of an archivist and biographer, cataloguing Deboo’s choreography and stories, and finding new ways to share those with an audience. Deboo explains that technology and money meant his earlier work was never recorded, but “now Rani turns the clock back and ...it’s amazing to see how much the body remembers.” 

The relational duet form of An Evening with Astad offers a new point of access to this formidable artist — the who of a life story, rather than the what. What results is not only a biography of Deboo himself, but also a personal, intergenerational chronicle of contemporary Indian dance, one that time-travels both backward and into the future.

By dancing together on stage now we have the chance to propose new ideas of what contemporary dance can be, and which bodies are allowed to do so.

Hommage Astad Deboo <3 Ful 

Artistic team

Rani Nair: Concept and performer
Astad Deboo: Performer
Kate Elswit: Dramaturg/Historian
Josefin Hinders: Light design
Samar Jabri : Sound consultant
Cecilia Höglund: Graphic design
Kubkub: Visuals
Malena Sjöstedt: Production