The surprise of the three programms was Jai Govinda. Govinda called on his earlier training in ballet to create Winds, a fusion of East and West that seemed refreshingly all about French Canadian Jai Govinda himself. The shapes are a mix of ballet and primarily Bharata Natyam, but with a rhythm and flow that is uniquely loose and easy. In Govinda's choreography, the implications of fusion are extremely weighty.
Dancers from several different backgrounds in movement style forged an impressive and coherent unity of dance movement and presentation which seamlessly united their several abilities and talents. It seems natural to regard Jai Govinda's choreography as the fully realized blending of different traditions and styles into an entirely new medium. The important feature of Offrande and the Narcissus is quite simply that they were excellent dance and exciting theatre. They worked!
JOURNAL - Toronto
Jai Govinda's Narcissus, which juxtaposed movements from ballet, modern dance, and Indian dance, raise the Greek legend to a level of intensity of lyrical sensuousness which held the audience captive to a thrill of genuine theatrical experience. The festival turned out to be a celebration of male dancing, which revealed to many of us an unexpected aspect of Indian dance.
"Entrancing Blue God A Hypnotic Fusion of the East and West":
Govinda's command of the technique shone through in his most recent performance, The Blue God. His choreography is a seamless fusion of Bharata Natyam and western contemporary and classical styles. Govinda's appearance was striking when he entered the stage, his movements were mesmerizing. Govinda’s new work made for a memorable evening of dance.
The production was unique in many ways. It had just the right touch. Jai Govinda knows how to use the proscemium theatre in the most effective manner to bring out his message. The Blue God is easily one of the best fusion dance productions I have seen.
UBESSEY - Vancouver
I have always thought that the appreciation for modern dance is an acquired taste, but Jai Govinda's new work, The Blue God, proves me wrong. I cannot imagine a single member of the audience not enjoying the forty-minute performance. Their graceful long reaches and difficult footwork put the audience in awe. The entire piece felt like a sweet dream, one that you long to experience again.
Govinda fuses styles so carefully that the lines between them are washed away in a refreshing new language. John and Isabelle Ottman moved as delicately as sprites then held sculptural poses inspired by Indian mythology.
Jai Govinda has and continues to carve out a niche for himself in the dance community. Govinda uses the chemistry and physical knowledge of the two performers to create visual moment that touch the heart.
STATEMAN - New Delhi
Jai's line were beautifully etched , there was a graceful flow in the execution of his pure dance .As to rhythm ,he was pat on the beat negotiating footwork with ease, grace and poise .This Prince charming of Bharata Natyam has much to give and embellish this great style .
GAZETTE - Montreal
In his first solo evening-long performance, Quebec city born classical Indian dancer , Jai Govinda showed that he is prepared to join the best international exponents of that difficult art . By any standards, Eastern or Western , Govinda's recital was remarkable . He concentrated on purity of line, showing long balance reaches , a clarity of hand gesture and unhurried delicacy of movements .
JOURNAL - Calcutta
Bharata Natyam which has facinated the world over for over a quarter century is no longer an Indian monopoly . Jai Govinda strengthens such a belief . The experts in unisson said the Canadian-born had the grace and abandon of a native born to the dance . With his Greek-god figure , Jai Govinda holds the audience's attention effortlessly .
- New Delhi
There were things beyond expectations awaiting me in Jai Govinda's recital . Apart from his dance being of high order , his devotion and prayer were something unique not seen even among Indian artists .
THE LINK - Montreal
Govinda's presentation of the fusion of Eastern philosophy and physicality were a success , the standing ovation was of no surprise .
- New Delhi
Jai Govinda of Canada enthraled the viewers with the maturity of his abhinaya , it's inner peace and reflective strength .
THE HINDU - New Delhi
Across the Cultural Divide ; Spell-binding . It was an aesthetic experience to watch Jai Govinda . It is not merely an Indian name that this Canadian has acquired ; it is the very spirit of Indian dance that he has imbibed .Impeccably profiled , the geometry of Jai Govinda's Bharata Natyam was a pleasure to watch . With a finely honed sense of rhythm , the fractional intervals of time created no problem to this dancer . But what lifted the performance to great heights was the quality of the abhinaya .The verses of the poetry set to music found a level of dance interpretation rarely seen among male Bharata Natyam dancer . Each phrase vibrated with feeling . The entire audience was seeped in the devotional fibre of the dance . The interspersed pure dance portions were full of easy grace , and clarity of rhythm . Jai govinda showed a uniform concern for aesthetics and in the fine selection of items for a male dancer .
Of Montreal's four top solo dancers , Margie Gillis ,Marie Chouinard,Dulcinee Langfelder and Jai Govinda , the Quebecer with the Indian name is by far the least known . Jai Govinda is the only one of these remarkable soloist who works strictly within a severely codified dance vocabulary , one which is even more regimented than ballet .
Cleanliness of lines , neat delivery and a supple form...the concluding tillana establish Jai Govinda's well-honed training in pure dance .
PIONNER - New Delhi
Jai Govinda is an accomplished and dedicated scholar . Lean and taut , his body as a vehicle for movement is very elastic .He has made great strides in his prowess to emote complex ideas through hand gestures and facial mime . The image of Rama washing his face in a pool and being struck by the beauty of Sita's face in the reflection was graphic.
- New Delhi
Jai Govinda showed that there is more to him than being a foreigner dabbling in Indian art. Both the well outlined pure dance and the deeply felt abhinaya were proof of unstinted effort and dedication of the dancer .
HINDUSTAN TIMES - New Delhi
His lines are even more chiselled and taut than before , the arm and leg stretches perfectly aligned and the footwork correctly assertive and precise . There is a new depth to his abhinaya and a new fluidity in his use of hand gesture in combination with facial exprression to convey delicate shading of meanings .
THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT - Vancouver
It's not news that Montreal's dance scene has produced remarkable solo artists , but it is surprising that one of those artists is a master of Indian Classical dance form , the Bharata Natyam . Jai Govinda is making an impact on the international dance scene . As a dancer , he has clean technique , strong beautiful lines , and appealing stage presence that allows him to cross cultural barriers .
Photos on this site are by:
Ron Sanga ,
Lionel Trudel ,
Daniel Collins ,
and Michael Tooland .