Amal Neerad shares Berlin memory of contemporary dancer Astab Deboo | Malayalam Movie News

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Filmmaker Amal Neerad posted a tribute to contemporary dancer Astad Deboo, 73, who passed away on Thursday after a brief battle with lymphoma. The Big B-director, who studied at the Berlin Film School, remembered meeting Astad at a performance in the German capital.

Writing on social media about his meeting with the pioneering dancer, Amal says, “I was fortunate enough to see your solo performance some 18 years back at the Indian Cultural Center, Berlin. And with gracious luck, I was gifted the opportunity to talk to you for a few minutes. Like any couple of Malayalis who stumble upon each other in a foreign country, we exchanged our mutual feelings for Kerala. Your years of training and performing Kathakali had made you more Malayali than any other Malayali… Dear Sir… Dance in Peace.”

Padma Shri Astad Deboo had studied Kathak and after his initial training in contemporary dance in Europe and New York, he travelled to Kerala in 1977 to learn Kathakali. He mixed Indian and contemporary styles to create a unique language of dance and had famed international collaborations, including with rock back Pink Floyd.

The dancer’s family posted a message on social media that sums up the artiste. “He left us… after a brief illness, bravely borne. He leaves behind a formidable legacy of unforgettable performances combined with an unswerving dedication to his art, matched only by his huge, loving heart that gained him thousands of friends and a vast number of admirers. The loss to the family, friends, fraternity of dancers, both classical and modern, Indian and international, is inestimable.”

Amal was expected to start work on Bilal with Mammootty, but has postponed plans owing to the pandemic.

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