All donations to “Building Resilience: A Covid Benefit for Dance-Makers in India & Bangladesh” will be collected through the PayPal account of MyDance Alliance, the Malaysian country chapter of World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific, and held in trust for WDAAP.
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We invite you to contribute to a World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific online video fundraising benefit to raise money for emerging dancers and choreographers in India and Bangladesh.
The following benefit video runs for 1 hour, and features:
Chand: The Reflection of a Wish, a video documentary reflecting on the process of the WDAAP Choreolab at Ocean Dance Festival in November 2019 in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, mentored by Toronto-based artist Sashar Zarif.
A tapestry of short experimental videos made with by the participants of the Choreolab during their post-Choreolab virtual sessions with Sashar Zarif.
About the Benefit
In these challenging times, dancers and choreographers in Bangladesh and India have undergone a particularly harsh struggle. Not only have they coped with loss of livelihood, but also with the huge anxiety and suffering that accompanied the recent wave of Covid illness and death across the subcontinent.
This fundraising benefit intends to bring attention to the situation of these dance artists, and to harness our network of dance lovers across the world to support their continued ability to survive and thrive in dance.
In preparation for this benefit, Sashar Zarif has worked with young people from the 2019 Choreolab in Bangladesh to create videos to share their current perspective, hopes and dreams for the future. Having a dance project to work on together has kept their spirits up and given them something to look forward to. With the proceeds of this benefit, we hope to support many more of their dance projects in future.
Our fundraising target is USD $10,000! Every little bit helps, so please give and share this event with others.
About the Proceeds from the Benefit
Funds collected from the benefit will be distributed to emerging choreographers from India and Bangladesh, to be used as micro grants to support local dance projects.
All donations will be collected by MyDance Alliance, the Malaysian country chapter of World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific, and held in trust for the organisation. The Executive Committee of WDAAP will coordinate the mechanism and timeline for disbursing the funds, as well monitoring the project outcomes.
About World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific
World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific (WDAAP) is an independent, non-profit, non-political organisation that serves as a primary voice for dance and dancers throughout the Asia-Pacific region, and encourages the exchange of ideas and the awareness of dance in all its forms. The WDAAP country chapters are our main network, providing information and coordinating the dance activities within their country boundaries.
For this benefit, WDAAP is working closely with WDA-India and with the Bangladesh country chapter Nrityajog.
The first Ocean Dance Festival was held from 22 to 25 November 2019 in the seaside town of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, organised by Nrityajog, the Bangladesh chapter of World Dance Alliance. The even featured a scholarly conference, showcase performances, workshops, and more opportunities to meet, network and share experiences and connections.
As a lead-up to the event, dance artist Sashar Zarif mentored a 15-day Choreolab from 7 to 21 November, with emerging choreographers and dancers from Bangladesh, India and other WDAAP nations. The participants formed a tight-knit community as they learned and laughed together during this intense experience. For the opening day of the Ocean Dance Festival, they performed a short work choreographed by Sashar Zarif with the participating artists entitled Chaand: The Reflection of a Wish.
About Sashar Zarif
Sashar Zarif is an internationally renowned performing artist, educator, and researcher. For the last three decades Zarif has toured across forty countries; and has spent his professional life promoting cultural dialogue through intensive fieldwork, residencies, performances, and creative collaborations. His award-winning, multi-disciplinary dance projects are steeped in the artistry and history of traditional, ritualistic, and contemporary dance and music of the Central Asian, Middle Eastern, and North African regions. Zarif is committed to developing his own practice, grounded in a deep, mystical connection to dance. His creative approach Living Stories / Moving Memories explores the physical, mental and emotional aspects of memory. Zarif is an external research associate at York University’s Centre for Asian Studies. More info: http://www.sashardance.com
Benefit Credits & Acknowledgments
Organizers: WDAAP Artistic and production director Sashar Zarif Media Design: Nancy Baltazar and Manuel Garcia Donation Collection Administration: MyDance Alliance, the Malaysian country chapter of World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific
CHAND FAMILY (Choreolab Participants / Chaand Performers) Arunima Dutta (India) Brishti Bepari (Bangladesh) Durga Madher (India) Farhad Ahmed Shamim (Bangladesh) Hasan Ishtiaque Imran (Bangladesh) Jhuma Das (India) Kanika Baidya (Bangladesh) Maria Farih Upama (Bangladesh) Pritha De (India) Sandhya Karmakar (India) Shovan Das (Bangladesh) Sneha Anandan (India) Srabasti Ghosh (India) Srimayee Chatterjee (India) Sukanya Das (India) Sumedha Bhattacharya (India) Tanushree Chatterjee (India) Wei Ming Pak (Hong-Kong) Yasin Arafat (Bangladesh)
SPECIAL THANKS TO World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific Ocean Dance Festival Nancy Baltazar, Manuel Garcia and Marwan Bahrar The 19 generous souls of the Chaand family The people, land, ocean, sun and air of Inani Beach, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
The lands we have been living on and the spirits of all who have been contributing to our journey in life.
InternationalDanceDay is celebrated on 29 April every year, and commemorates the birthday of French dancer, ballet master and reformer Jean-Georges Noverre. This year’s IDD message is by Friedemann Vogel, principal dancer of Stuttgart Ballet. He writes:
“Everything starts with movement – an instinct we all have – and dance is movement refined to communicate. Much as flawless technique is important and impressive, it is ultimately what the dancer expresses inside the movement that is the essence.
“As dancers, we are constantly on the move, aspiring to create these unforgettable moments. Regardless of the dance genre, it’s what every dancer strives to achieve. So, when all of a sudden, we aren’t allowed to perform anymore, with theatres closed and festivals cancelled, our worlds come to a standstill. No physical contact. No shows. No audiences. Never in recent history has the dance community been so collectively challenged to stay motivated, to find our raison d’être.
“Yet, it is precisely when something precious has been taken away from us that we truly appreciate how vital it is what we do, and how much dance means to society at large. Dancers are often celebrated for their physical prowess, when in fact we are sustained even more by our mental strength. I believe it is this unique combination of physical and psychological agility that will help us overcome, to reinvent ourselves to keep dancing, and to keep inspiring.”
World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific is sad to announce the demise of well-known dance critic, writer and enthusiast, Dr. Sunil Kothari, who passed away at the age of 87 on 27 December 2020.
Dr. Kothari was the WDA Vice-President for South Asia from 2001 to 2008. He also held the position of Vice-President of the India Chapter from 2008 until the time of his passing.
Dr. Kothari was the Uday Shankar Chair Professor at the Rabindra Bharati University and was also the first Dean of the School of Arts and Aesthetics of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Born in Mumbai on 20 December 1933, Dr. Kothari was a qualified chartered accountant before turning his focus to dance scholarship. His contribution as a dance writer and critic remains well documented in more than 20 books on the subject of Indian dance forms, including Sattriya Dances of Assam and New Directions in Indian Dance; on Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Chhau, Kathak, Kuchipudi; and photo biographies of Uday Shankar and Rukmini Devi Arundale.
Dr. Kothari received numerous titles and awards for his contribution to Indian dance forms, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi award (1995); the Gaurav Puraskar award conferred by the Gujarat Sangeet Natak Akademi (2000); the Padma Shri award bestowed by the Government of India (2001), and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Dance Critics Association, New York, USA (2011). He was also an elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for his contribution to Indian dance as a scholar.
The World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific remembers him fondly and acknowledges his prolonged association and contribution to the world of dance.
The biannual magazine of World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific contains reports from our executive committee, our network chairs and our country chapters, as well as updates on upcoming events.
In this edition, we see how dance communities across the Asia Pacific region continue to respond to the challenges of the Covid-19 epidemic, which for many of us has meant settling into digital distribution as the new normal.
Also check out:
An update from the Global Executive on the discontinuation of the position of Secretary General;
A spread of images remembering and acknowledging the services of our departing Secretary General, Prof. Mohd. Anis Md. Nor;
A reminder that the WDAAP AGM will happen this month in conjunction with the 2020 WDAAP/TDRS Conference from 26 to 27 December in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
… as well as beautiful and inspiring images of dance from across the Asia-Pacific.
One of a series of film clips in celebration of International Dance Day 2020:
With the support of DANZ, the WDAAP country chapter in New Zealand, Associate Professor Nickolas Rowe, from the University of Auckland, along with his co-creators, present the film Dancing7Cities.
The Dancing7Cities team has chosen to make the award-winning feature film Dancing7Cities openly accessible around the world. The film is extremely relevant in current times and explores dance in the public domain, weaving through Laos, Finland, Palestine, Fiji, Australia, Lebanon and Italy. https://youtu.be/BgZwgJ8VjNE
Asia–Pacific Channels is the bi-annual magazine of the World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific (WDAAP), published by Ausdance National in collaboration with MyDance Alliance in Malaysia. It profiles dance events and activities from WDA members throughout the Asia–Pacific region.
Back issues of Channels can be downloaded from here. The archive of Channels dating back to 1996 is available from the Ausdance website.
Dear Friends, Practitioners, Scholars, Advocates, and Supporters of Dance World Wide,
This is a message of hope and aspiration.
As the world reels under the Covid-19 pandemic, we are all confronted with having to adapt to new-normal amidst great challenges to our dance community. Natural disasters such as the Amphan cyclone in South Asia, the bushfires in Brazil and Australia, the global Covid-19 pandemic continue to pose great uncertainties, destroying precious lives and livelihood, causing our robust economies to form into trickles, affecting the arts industry to reach an unprecedented low point.
Nonetheless, our resilience in responding to such calamities has been exceptional, as we engage our dance communities to adapt to the ever-changing landscapes. Our myriad backgrounds and culturally diverse communities have been our greatest reservoir of talent pools for our creative endeavors, time tested and fastidiously honored.
As an independent, non-profit, non-political organization that promotes the recognition, development and mutual understanding of all forms of dance, WDA stands as a united community against all forms of racial inequality, ethnic hegemony and cultural superiority. Dance is Life and lives lived in inequality matter.
Guest Editors: Dr. Priyanka Basu, Dr. Ilana Morgan, Dr. Julie Mulvihill Coordinator (Submissions): Dr. A.P. Rajaram
The World Dance Alliance (WDA) announces a call for original scholarly articles and performance reviews for Volume 7 of the Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship (JEDS), from emerging scholars in the discipline of dance. Authors must be currently pursuing a graduate degree (M.A., M.F.A., Ph.D., or equivalent) or be within five years of having graduated (the degree does not need to be in dance, but the article must be focused on dance as an evolving discipline).
Manuscripts should contribute innovative scholarship into contemporary or historical dance, research methodologies, critical choreographic analysis, ethnographic studies, pedagogical practices, or other topics opening insights into the field of dance studies. Research should be original and supported by outside resources. Research engaging participants must show compliance with Institutional Human Participants Review procedures.