Shiamak Davar: The Mumbai/New York Photo Project: Music and Dance

In the sixth edition of the Mumbai/New York photo project, Nisha Sondhe photographs some of the musicians and artists building bridges between the two cities.

 

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In Mumbai, one of India’s leading choreographers, Shiamak Davar, recalled his own struggle after deciding to take up dance. Coming from a family of educators, Mr. Davar had studied commerce. Then he traveled to London to attend a summer school for acting, singing and dance. Upon his return to Mumbai, he started a dance school, with seven students in his first class, mostly friends and relatives. “I faced a lot of humiliation and ridicule. People said ‘Boys don’t dance, and if girls dance then who will marry them?’ But I believed in God and my spiritual guides, and I didn’t give up,” he said.

Today Mr. Davar, the founder and artistic director of the Shiamak Davar Dance Company in Mumbai, is considered one of the pioneers of modern dance in India. His dance company has performed all over the world and his classes have reached millions

of dance enthusiasts across India, Canada, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Britain.  By bringing contemporary modern dance into India and showcasing India’s heritage to people across the globe, he hopes to “unite people through dance and the performing arts,” he said.

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