A large part of the last day of Ignite was dedicated to a Network seminar exploring the needs and possibilities of the dance community in India to create a network amongst themselves. A network that would not look only at the issues we face while creating work on a daily basis – infrastructure, finances, subsidies, sustainability and more – but also at points that facilitate the activity of dance and dancers – policy, representation, support, post-career situations, sharing of information and resources – all of which happen on an occasional basis, but there is no concerted collective voice of the dance community that can speak, stand up and be counted.
14 November 2010
13 November 2010
A short day for me today at Ignite. I went in only in the afternoon missing the morning paper presentations. Post-lunch, moderated a conversation with Padmini Chettur, Veena Basavarajaiah and Sudesh Adhana. Since the last has not shown his work yet, it was really difficult for the audience to engage with him, and most of the questions at the end of the session went – understandably and most deservedly – to Padmini, touching on questions of tautness and tension, audience behaviour, whether a choreographer’s note is necessary or not… all to do with her work, but many also questions surrounding the performance, perception and development of an Indian contemporary dance.
12 November 2010
|Padmini Chettur's Pushed|
Hmm! An uninspiring day at best and a ‘what-were-the-organisers-thinking!’ day at worst. But rounded off by an extraordinarily powerful performance by the Padmini Chettur Dance Company from Chennai – I forgave everything after that experience!
11 November 2010
Kicking off the Ignite Festival at Kamani Auditorium yesterday evening, Anusha Lall – Festival Director – put things in perspective. Ignite, she said, was a festival centred on contemporary ‘Indian’ dance – both by artists from within India and abroad. All the artists and performances engage with Indian-ness in a variety of ways: either experimenting with traditional forms, or forging connections with other cultures/countries or – as in the case of Shobana Jeyasingh (though this is not the only thread that draws her in) – working with Asian/Indian experience in a different culture, drawing on forms both remembered and found.
Shobana Jeyasingh is a dance icon in the UK. And unfortunately, though I lived there for three years, I was in Wales – far away from the dance circuit that her company moves in. So never had the opportunity to see her work. But hear about it constantly, I did. And this is her first tour to India since she set up her company in 1988. By training she is a Bharatnatyam dancer, who moved from Chennai to London. But her work situates itself squarely in a very different socio-cultural and political experience. The double bill we were witness to yesterday – Faultline and Bruise Blood – are both inspired by extremely unusual – even harsh – triggers for dance as we in India would see it.
10 November 2010
ARRIVING AT IGNITE: 10 November 2010
I landed at Delhi just past 9am and – with Paromita Saha of Sapphire Creations Dance Workshop, who had wisely pre-booked a taxi – navigated through terrible airport traffic to arrive at the Ignite Festival Hub at Max Mueller Bhavan, Kasturba Gandhi Marg. I have a soft spot for MMB’s: the Calcutta one has always welcomed me in for as long as I can remember, and the atmosphere of openness, at-home-ness and come-and-make-yourself-comfortable-ness has been no different at MMB Bangalore and Delhi the few times I have visited them. And if the atmosphere at the Hub is anything to go by, they have obviously welcomed Ignite and Gati as their own with open arms.
08 November 2010
Ranan Repertory Member Lav Kanoi writes his impressions of our adda with Janet Smith of SDT on 18 October 2010, throwing up several questions that bear thinking about.
It’s too damned hard, requires too much training, and too few can do it.
One loses the beat, trips and despairs. What is the point?
Janet Smith, Artistic Director of the Scottish Dance Theatre (SDT) would give you several: dance uplifts, inspires, transforms lives; it keeps you fit, gets you moving. And contrary to popular belief, anyone can try it.