“Modern dance is rare in the country as of now,” says the 30-something, Mumbai-based choreographer who was in Delhi for a performance. He will be off to Germany, with his troupe Terence Lewis Contemporary Dance Company, for the Braunschweig Dance Festival on March 14. “It’s a prestigious festival and I’m very excited about our show. India is usually associated with classical dance but I want people to know that we excel at modern dance as well,” says Lewis, who trained in jazz, ballet and contemporary dance at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Martha Graham Dance School in New York.
Don’t look for Bollywood at Braunschweig, Lewis and his group of 14 will bring a mix of Kathak, yoga and folk dance with a European subtext. “Everything from Page-Three culture and the fast-paced Mumbai life to an Indian village will be part of this modern dance performance that also has elements of humour in it,” says Lewis, who has been choreographing advertisements and music videos, apart from five films, including Jhankaar Beats. Lewis says he is selective about Bollywood. “I want to do films in which I can do something different. Dance is not about loud body movements. It can be something simple yet surreal,” he says. Next on the list is Sanjay Gupta’s Pankh Hote To. “The film is about a boy’s identity crisis and the choreography is dreamlike. There are no quick cuts but the contemporary twist makes it different,” he says about the film that will feature Bipasha Basu playing herself.
With a dance festival, an unusual film and a long list of shows abroad, Lewis has his schedule packed but one can be sure that when this choreographer sets out to perform, modern dance will be a step ahead.