Sudarshan Chakravorty celebrates Sapphire anniv with Tranz

 Sudarshan Chakravorty celebrates Sapphire anniv with Tranz

Recently Kolkatta saw a magnificent show ‘Tranz” which actually put the audience in a trance. The show was organised to celebrate 29 years of one of the city’s leading dance company and school of contemporary dance, Sapphire Creations. The Artistic Director and Choreographer Sudarshan Chakravorty is the man behind Sapphire and has been successfully doing shows in the city for over two decades.


Sudarshan is trained in Bharatanatyam under Guru Bandana Dasgupta, in Kathakali under the guidance of Guru Govindan Kutty. Not just that he has also trained in Thang ta, modern dance and jazz by France-based Nana Gleason, mind-body centering and contemporary dance from Teachers in Europe.

Choreographer Sudarshan Chakravorty and other performers at the show

Pioneer of a dynamic experimental dance form resulting from individual and ensemble mind-body improvisations, his innovative form raises sensitive contemporary issues. He has led the troupe as director-choreographer to performances in India and abroad.
Director of Interface, a writer, workshop leader and collaborator, Sudarshan has worked as choreographer in the fields of fashion, film and television. He has been awarded by Oniel De Fellowship by Kala Bharati, Canada in 2005 and Shyamal Sen Smriti Purashkar by Swapnasandhani in Kolkata in 2008. I spoke with talented choreographer about his new offering Tranz:

Tell us more about Sapphire?
It’s my baby, and extremely special to me. I nurture it as an academy of young ideas, growth and experimentation giving birth to performers, productions and art events creating a whole new renaissance for the arts in India.

What was the thought behind holding Tranz?
The show was dedicated to the core values of Sapphire which believes in transmitting and transferring knowledge, transforming lives and
transcending art as a form and tool of empowerment not as a conflict to the past but carry it forward as a treasure to rediscover the future as a continuous and conscious effort of everyday practice like a perpetual workshop.

Tell us a little more about it.
It spoke about ‘Legacy’ which is often not referred to in the context of Contemporary dance and is hardly recognised as this form is all about exploring the newness which is ever changing. But here we shared the repertoire of nearly three decades by different generations of dancers in Sapphire and in a way commented on the ‘sameness’ and the ‘uniqueness’ of each performance with the changing bodies.
In this 50 minutes show dance, visuals and storytelling all came together as a narrative to speak about ‘owning’ and ‘disowning’ of the body and what it is to embody an ever-changing idiom of Contemporary dance. Whether it creates a ‘belongingness’ or a ‘gharana’? And whether each time when we take a new path, somewhere we also look back or revisit all those left behind as a trace in our mind and body to experience the ‘new’.
The show concept and compilation was done by me, but there are a whole lot of people who I have to thank for the show like choreographers Dibyendu Nath, Koushik Das, Ankita Duttagupta, Prosenjit, Dutta, Sylvester Mardi; Dinesh Poddar for Light Design, and performers that included Ankita Duttagupta, Manju Ray Dutta, Prosenjit Dutta, Dibyendu Nath, Koushik Das, Bijoy Sharma, Sumitava Saha, Sumita Bhattacharjee, Rupesh Mukherjee, Soumen Banerjee, Sushmita Dey, Sayantani Mukherjee, Ranajoy Poddar, Pallavi Saha and Manik Paul

The show must have been very nostalgic, isn’t it?
Celebrating 29th year for my dance company Sapphire Creations looked significant in more ways than one wherein dancers looked back at their past, their roots like the umbilical cord that continues to nourish and flows within us in our veins. The trace of the past remains and becomes important to appreciate when we prepare for the future meander taking us to the new decade. The evening was celebrated by an eclectic mix of choreographic works from 1996 to 2020 drawing from various impulses which made the DNA of the Sapphire style or vocabulary over the years.




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