Navdhara India Dance Theatre
Navdhara India Dance Theatre (NIDT) is a contemporary dance company based out of Mumbai, India, founded by Indian-Australian choreographer Ashley Lobo. It was set up with the aim of helping out young dancers in India channelize their creative energies and to give them a platform to reach out and communicate with an international audience.
Combining the physical methodologies of western dance and the spiritual philosophies of India and Indian dance, including some thoughts from the ancient Indian Gurukul system, NIDT seeks to allow newer methodologies and works of theatre and dance to come through. The focus is on simplicity and communication. Sharing thoughts through this universal movement language, so all boundaries disappear and Navdhara or ‘new flow’ is achieved. To this end, all dancers have a strong western dance technique and this is then combined with indigenous tools like yoga, ancient Indian movement, meditations, and Indian classical and folk dance, to create a unique blend that just ‘is’. A movement style that is neither eastern nor western in nature, but completely universal. The only allegiance being to the truth of breath and prana or life energy.
The word ‘Navdhara’is a combination of two Sanskrit words – nav meaning new and Dhara meaning flow or stream. Navdhara India Dance Theatre seeks to do just that -‘allow’ art philosophy and movement to flow, rather than be boxed-in by the limitations of the word ‘create’. It comes from a deep belief that movement already exists and all that is needed is the word ‘allow’ or flow. The only truth being breath and prana or life energy.
Navdhara India Dance Theatre’s chief mission is to communicate and build bridges within India and the international community through real human connection – by reaching out to audiences all over the world while still springing out of a base that is intrinsically Indian.
Its mission is also to create dance and art that is honest, and which focuses on the human connection through a style that is simple and narrative in nature, with an intention to share rather than tell, be felt rather than seen.
Ashley Lobo’s career in the performing arts comprises of over 32 years of experience in performing, choreographing, and teaching, both in India and overseas.
He trained in Australia at the Bodenweiser Dance Centre (under the late Margaret Chapple) and at the much-reputed Sydney Dance Company in Classical Ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary styles of dance. He is also a qualified Yoga teacher.
He is the Founder & Artistic Director of The Danceworx Academy, which has studios in New Delhi and Mumbai. And he is the developer of Prana Paint & Flow™, a unique sensitizing approach that explores movement through connectivity, yoga, breath, and touch.
Ashley has choreographed extensively for stage and cinema with over 20 films and as many stage productions, so his choreographic style has a strong influence on cinematic techniques combined with a clear narrative. In film and stage, he is known for producing work with a uniquely strong sense of connection, which he has developed through his Prana Paint & Flow™.
Theatrical choreographies include JHUMROO, Kingdom of Dreams; Ji Saab Ji; Salaam India; The Box; About Nothing; Short Cut; Passage to Amsterdam; That’s Dancing!; Buddha; The Chorus Line; Romeo & Juliet in Technicolor; Les Miserables; Matilda; Fiddler on the Roof; Jesus Christ Superstar; Me and My Girl; West Side Story.
Film choreographies include Parched (director Leena Yadav); Bombay Velvet (director Anurag Kashyap); Lekar Hum Deewana Dil (director Arif Ali); Highway (director Imtiaz Ali); One by Two (director Devika Bhagat); Boss (director Anthony D’Souza); Cocktail (director Homi Adajania); Rockstar (director Imtiaz Ali); Guzaarish (director Sanjay Leela Bhansali); No One Killed Jessica (director Raj Kumar Gupta); Aisha (director Rajshree Ojha); Teen Patti (director Leena Yadav); Blue (director Anthony D’Souza); Love Aaj Kal (director Imtiaz Ali); U Me Aur Hum (director Ajay Devgan); Jab We Met (director Imtiaz Ali); No Smoking (director Anurag Kashyap); Ahista Ahista(director Shivam Nair); Namastey London (director Vipul Shah); Socha Na Tha (director Imtiaz Ali); Dhoom (director Sanjay Gadhvi); In Othello (director Roysten Abel).
Ashley has also been a judge on India’s Dancing Superstar, a competitive dance reality program on Star Plus, a premium Indian TV channel.
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