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When Italian Theater meets Indian Dance

In a recent visit to the country, Tiziana Barbiero, one of the founders of Teatro Tascabile di Bergamo (TTB) talked about how the group has made Indian dance an integral part of their work. TTB is a theatre group that originated under Renzo Vescovi in Italy in 1973, and it has been featuring art forms from India for decades now.

TTB’s first interaction with Kathakali and Odissi was by the late dance critic, Mohan Khokar in 1978. Barbiero recalls that the idea wasn’t well-received initially, but today Indian dance is such an important part of the theatre group that it is performed without adding any western accents. “Our duty is to learn from the basics. We were fond of starting from India and here we found great masters to teach us. We never had the idea of changing anything. Everything, from the costumes to the movement, is executed without western elements,” added Barbiero.

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