The performance was very well received, not only were the distinguished guests impressed with the grace, balance and control, but also that at age 68 I am dancing with such stamina, a thrilled Astad Deboo told Rediff.com after the performance.
Padma Shri Astad Deboo, the well-known contemporary Indian dancer, enthralled President Pranab Mukherjee as he settled down after his meetings with business leaders from India and Sweden in Stockholm on Tuesday.
The mood at Hotel Grand, the venue, was transformed by the three performances created by the 67-year-old Deboo.
As three Swedish women recited the 'Vande Mataram', the hall echoed with claps all round. Deboo appeared on the stage and gave a presentation before the President and Swedish king, Carl XVI Gustaf, and queen, Silvia. Also in attendance were Crown Princess Victoria and her husband, Daniel. From the Indian side there was Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, and Congress MPs Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashwani Kumar.
The audience, comprising mainly business delegations, lauded the performances.
“The performance was very well received, not only were the distinguished guests impressed with the grace, balance and control, but also that at age 68 I am dancing with such stamina,” a thrilled Astad Deboo told Rediff.com after the performance.
"A nice relaxation after breaking our heads since morning in mergers and tie-ups," commented a delegate enthralled by the performance.
Deboo had created three performances which included the 'Vande Matram', followed by a dance on Swedish folk song, 'Oh Varmeland You Fair', sung by Swedish soprano Charlotta Huldt along with Shipra Nandy and Suparna Sanyal, and then the third to music composed by Amelia Cuni and Stefano Musso and sung by Amelia Cuni in the dhrupad style.
The cultural afternoon came to an end with Rabindranath Tagore's iconic 'Ekla Chalo'.
Deboo has evolved his own style of modern dance over the years which is very controlled and minimal, with the use of the 'abhinaya' and the rasas and dance form of Kathakali.
He will stay on in Sweden after his performance and start working with Swedish choreographer Rani Nair on a new piece on the ageing body which will be premiered next year. After Sweden he is scheduled to perform in The Hague, and premier a new work titled 'Terra Madre' for the Spoletto Festival in Italy from July 9 10 11.