Indian Scholars and Artists gathered together along with their colleagues from Greece and thirty different countries in the historical city of Argos in Peloponnesus near the magnificent ancient theater of Epidavros that hosts every summer a festival of ancient drama and forms a living link between the ancient cultural heritage and the modern artistic intellect of Greece.
The gathering of the dance scholars and performers took place on the occasion of the 18th World Congress on Dance Research that took place in the city of Argos from the 3rd up to the 7th November 2004. This major academic programme was organised by the Greek Section of the International Organization of Folk Art (IOFA), The International Dance Council (CID) of Unesco-Paris, the Greek Dances Theater ‘Dora Stratou’ in Athens and the Municipality of Argos.
The 18th World Congress’ theme was “The Preservation of Diversity” and its objective was to exhibit that different forms of art and cultures can co-exist harmoniously in the present world but also that there is a great need to preserve certain traditional forms of art which are facing the danger of extinction.
The nine participants from India were: Ranjeet Singh who presented Indian dances from Punjab; Pahul Shah who made a vivid demonstration on Indian Dances from Baroda; Prarthana Purkayastha who presented a research report on the parallel movement, Nationalist politics, Tagore and dance in Bengal; Rajyashree Ramesh who spoke and performed on Crossing bridges – Meeting points and melting barriers in / through dance; Menaka Bora who presented a paper on the body and soul of Sahitya Dance: organic fusion of dance theater, music, spirituality, gender and identity in eight classical dance traditions of India, she also made a performance on Sattriya dance; Usha Narayan who spoke on dance rituals as Indian classical dances; Anuradha Murali and Shilpa Sejpal who performed two traditional Bharatha natyam pieces; and Savita Godbole from the Luknow Gharana Kathak dance, who performed a ‘Diversity’ of Abhinaya (the Body Expressions) on a Thumari.