With the body as a primary instrument of expression, the Festival of Performances is collaborative space where a diverse group of artists get to showcase a series of themes they have interpreted and adopted. It is series of performances led by artists and dancers from across the world with the Second Year students of Srishti from the Undergraduate Professional Program. The students work with performance in a way that is not limited to dance, music, theatre, poetry, video and interactive performance. It addresses the times we live in now, and the issues around us in the media, on the streets and even in our own lives. As an Art and Design Institution we want to use the context of art as a way to investigate and address these issues like Identity, Gender and Violence. Each invited Artist not only works within their own practice but also within a larger curatorial vision.
The outcome of this culminates into a range of 7 performances is spread over two days in ADA Ranga Mandira, Bangalore which is open to view by all.
The Program :
It’s often said that “water is life”, but the perceivable manifestation of life and creation, is usually observed on land. Flowers bloom, animals roam and even inanimate entities like mountains and rivers give shape to this universal stage of life. The landscape, thus, has an omnipotent and reassuring presence in the lives of these beings and entities. Each of these individuals have a deep-rooted connection to the soil, which provides them with nourishment and becomes their final resting place as well. Unsurprisingly, each one of them had a story of its own to share. With sthala or land being the theme, this performance strived to tell those unheard stories.
This performance draws on contemporary dance and theatre practices. The performance was developed around the the ideas of stillness and movement, and had evolved from the large number of performers. There was a certain energy to a large group of bodies moving or in stillness. This performance harnessed that energy. The students were also made to move between narrative and abstract imagery.
Throughout the process of this project, the students have explored ideas of synaptic plasticity, learning, declarative and procedural memory and creativity. Questions of the brain were posed to the body through participative, collaborative and experiential inquiry. Students were invited to use the principles of new media, interdisciplinary art practices, light, sound, spoken word, contact improvisation and science gaming to evoke a transdisciplinary space - a plastic space where new intelligence and knowledge can get created for us to discover the potential of creativity. The space was emergent, complex and rapid. It was a moment of synergy and the playground of the Synapse. The students have created a performance together as a tribute to the a-historicity of arts practices and the mystery of “Human”.
The Juicy Genius of Play
The performative project is aimed to explore the act of playfulness through the sacred art of clowning. The invitation to the participants will be to show up in their playfulness and then see what are the stories and ‘games’ that their clowns want to present to their audiences. It gave the students a licence to play, without the fear of judgement, without the need to 'fit in', without inhibitions.Through the art of sacred clowning, they rediscovered inner qualities of empathy, openness, spontaneity, and play. They reflected on how they experienced that playfulness and then devised a production around their experiences.
The Dream is the Dreamer
The Dream is the Dreamer was the title for a spatial evocation, an exercise for a stage where a fictional topography is activated, by establishing a collective imagination, through means of word and gesture. The empty stage is intercepted by a protocol of coordinates, where a sequence of events is described and embodied, building a scenic time zone. Through the manipulation of plastic objects, affects are built and scenic time is defined, establishing a relation between the monstrous and the human dimensions of a body-flesh-skin.
Throughout this process of creation, Catarina realised the ability of the spoken word to enhance the imagination. The process was organised around moments of meditation and active imagination. They compose this material as one long fictional narrative where the audience can be integrated as spectators. The outcome was a performance designed from the coordinates of Bangalore and with the imaginative characteristics of each participant.
Labyrinth is an experimental movement practice where students identify their way of expressing into certain situations like a moment of confrontation, dealing, accepting and mainly reacting. They experienced reaction through various tasks and scores, to disengage mind from body and observing the reaction of body. The feeling of letting the body occupy and transfer, letting it pass in order to give space for the next incident. The process started with physical training and improvisation practice, Abhilash brought various methods and scores in order to question the way they moved, discussed their experiences, their intentions and how it was related to who they are and what they brought to the space and what they contributed to others in the room.
This process questions lot of things about us, questioning our way of thinking, questioning judgements, awkwardness, stress and exhaustion and how it is related to what we go through in our minds and realising the capacities of our bodies and limitations.
Collide deals with boundaries and meeting points. Boundaries between society and the individual, between normal abnormal and in general other boundaries in the society. How the boundaries are rewritten in order to have new meetings points.
Meet the Artists :
Project : Sthala
Hemabharathy Palani is a danseuse, working as the rehearsal director of Attakkalari Dance Company. She has trained in Kuchipudi, Bharatanyam and also in contemporary forms of dances like Kalaripayattu, yoga, and capoeira. She has participated in several national and international projects and represented India in choreography projects, residencies and performed in all of Attakkalari's multi-media dance productions at most of the major European festivals.
She constantly strives to keep the classical dance forms alive through her performances in Kuchipudi, across India and abroad, and the Bharatanatyam classes she conducts at Attakalari Centre for Movement Arts. She has also worked as an assistant choreographer for various South Indian films. Known for her fluidity and musicality, Hema is an intuitive choreographer and a dynamic performer and one of the most promising talents in contemporary dance today. On stage, her focus is hypnotic, drawing her audience into the story she weaves with her gracefully articulated movements.
Project : Still Standing
Shabari Rao is an artist, educator and researcher. Her work is rooted in practice based research which focuses on the relationship between body, performance, and learning. She has taught and performed extensively over the last 20 years, and participated in several international artist residencies. She has worked with leading international theatre practitioners including Robert Wilson (New York), John Briton (UK) and Sophia Stepf (Berlin). Her most recent works include directing 'Head to Head: the Big Fat Company plays with Hayavadana' (2018) and creating and performing 'BodyMine'. She has presented her work in several conferences. Shabari has received research grants from prestigious bodies. She practices as an independent artist and art/education consultant.
Project : Synapse
Sandhiya Kalyanasundaram is a writer, choreographer and visual artist. She has primary training in Bharatanatyam with cross-training in Kalaripayattu, Flamenco and Butoh. She has collaborated with Odissi, Ballet and Butoh dancers to create experimental and contemplative work. She is the founder and artistic director of the Blue Flute where she teaches Bharatanatyam and art. Sandhiya co-founded Sangam Arts with the goal of intercultural translation in San Jose, California.
Sandhiya deeply invests in mentoring her students through aesthetic, analytic and deeply reflective programs celebrating the human spirit. Her areas of focus include bridging the gap between arts and sciences, delving into the tensions between word and meaning through dance, reflection of artistic processes, particularly imagination and improvisation and observation of abstraction of form.
Project : The Juicy Genius of Play
Sukhmani Kohli with an experience of 14 years, has designed and directed plays in theatre and clowning and loves telling and listening to stories. She runs Purple Mangoes, a company of facilitators. Currently, along with teaching theatre to young people, she performs as a clown and also teaches the sacred art of Red Nose Clowning. Her work as a clown and facilitator is centred around holding spaces for people of all ages where they feel free to be real and authentic and have deep, transformative experiences. Her work involves a fine balance of process work like self discovery, group work, mind-body-spirit exploration and skills like storytelling, body work, communication, stage presence and improvisation. She trained in Red Nose Clowning under a Portuguese clown, Ana Meduriera and in physical comedy under a German clown, Michael Moritz. Sukhmani has also collaborated with Clowns without Borders USA, on their India mission to perform and teach clowning in different vulnerable communities in India.
Project : The Dream is the Dreamer
Catarina Miranda is an artist working with languages that intercept image, gesture, voice, scenography and light. Her work approaches the body as a vessel for the transformation of inner landscapes and mediation of hypnagogic states. She has studied Visual Arts, Choreography and Physical Theatre and therefore, her interest in image combined with movement and gesture has always been the formal motor of the outcomes of her processes. The choice for plastic aesthetics supports the composition of pictorial and kinetic cosmologies and the appeal for the illusion effect.The themes of her work reflect in general the interest about ontological and epistemological experiences, as the capacity to relate with the self, the otherness and the unknown.
Project : Labyrinth
Abhilash Ningappa is a performer, teacher and choreographer working in India and Europe. He did his postgraduation in SEAD (Salzburg) and his Post Masters in APASS (Advanced performance and scenography studies) (Belgium) on a movement research project called PLAY PRACTICE. A yoga practitioner and a martial art teacher trained in kalari payattu and contemporary dance, he started his training in India and later travelled in India and Europe working and practicing. He worked with La Caldera (Spain), Compagnie Thor - Thierry Smits (Brussels), Nunart (Spain), Dance Perfect (Prague), I-dance(Hong Kong) and many more and has been teaching professional classes in Marameo, Brown University (Providence), etc. He won the Prakriti Excellence in Contemporary Dance award for his choreography work "Architect of self-destruction" performed in Shoonya space, NUNOFF festival and Ibiza movement and performance festival. He presented a lecture performance called “Life Unedited” and performed 15 solos choreographed by all participant choreographers called “15 pieces”.
Project : Collide
Saju Hari was born in Kerala and is now based in London. After training in Kalaripayattu, he began his dance training with Attakkalari in Bangalore, and eventually began working professionally with Imlata Dance Company in London, the Bedlam Dance Company, and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company. Saju appeared in Handel’s Julius Caesar directed by Michael Keegan Dolan. Saju is also a prolific choreographer and director and has premiered his own works: Stillness is Monochrome? at the Viennese castle Luftschloss Cobenzl and Breaking Joints, premiered at London Richmix.
Saju received the prestigious ImplusTanz DanceWEB scholarship and an Arts Council England International Fellowship residency. He has worked as an associate artist at the UK foundation of Dance for a youth performance at North Devon Theatres and at Woking Dance for a school’s performance project.
Dates and Timings :
12th - 13th December 2018
2 pm - First Show (both days)
6:30 pm - Second Show (both days)
A.D.A Ranga Mandira,
Bengaluru, Karnataka - 560002