Astad Deboo, the pioneer of contemporary Indian dance, passed away at 73 – New Delhi Times

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Astad Deboo, the pioneer of India’s contemporary dance, passed away in Mumbai on Thursday, at 73. He had been diagnosed with cancer in the month of November.

Deboo was an expert in Kathak and Kathakali but was most popular and cherished for advancing fusion dance, which broke the hindrances of style, culture, and ethnicity. He was one of the primary Indians to introduce such a dance form.

He was born on July 13, 1947, in Navsari, Gujarat. He contemplated Kathak under Prahlad Das and later Kathakali under EK Pannicker. Daboo, in his 20s, studied the Martha Graham dance technique in London and Jose Limon’s technique in New York.

He established The Astad Deboo Dance Foundation in 2002, which offer opportunity and creative training to marginalized street children and aesthetic advancement to deaf dancers.

Deboo was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi in 1995 for his commitment to inventive contemporary dance. He was also honored with the Padma Shri in 2007.

He further choreographed for films a couple of times, including Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara (2006) and the amazing painter MF Hussain’s 2004 film, Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities.

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