Astad Deboo

Seventy- three years old, born on 13 July  1947, Astad Deboo slipped away from life quietly on 19 December 2020, leaving behind a varied legacy of creative productions, built up through sheer hard work in a painstaking career – the unostentatious artist while braving through a-not-very-congenial ambience for contemporary dance in India, never stooping to drawing aggressive attention to himself. Ploughing a lone furrow through five decades of work with the body, Astad lived in a world of his own creativity, his non-conformist approach following no established dance norms, traditional or contemporary, defying categorisation. Born to a Parsi family in Navasari of Gujarat, with no history of anybody taking to the dance, Astad, inexplicably drawn to the art form, began his dance career as a boy of six, with Kathak lessons under K.Mohanty and later Prahlad Das in Jamshedpur, where the family settled for some years, after an initial shift to Kolkata, before the father got employed in Tata Steel.