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How an indigenous style of acrobatic hip hop has travelled to global shows

Mumbai dancers fuse lyrical hip hop and b-boying with elements of American cheerleading and trapeze-esque bits from the circus

dancing
Stage performance by The Kings

Some evenings, it feels like there is more than one celestial being at the Chandika Devi Mandir in Mumbai’s sleepy suburb, Naigaon. In a temple hall usually reserved for religious rites and functions, members of a group of dancers fling each other skywards, achieving elevations of about 10 feet at times. Other dancers up front create a screen of sorts to distract onlookers from less appealing aspects of the stunts — the strides in a run-up or the huddles formed for a boost. In contrast to the genuflection and pealing bells outside, within the damp brick-and-tin walls of this ...