Dancing cities

A ‘dancelogue’ on urban migration and integration will be the curtain-raiser for the Attakkalari India Biennial in January
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First Published: Wed, Nov 07 2012. 08 23 PM IST
AadhaaraChakra, is a combination of movement, film, light, multimedia and sound. Photo: Sudeep Bhattacharya
AadhaaraChakra, is a combination of movement, film, light, multimedia and sound. Photo: Sudeep Bhattacharya
As a curtain-raiser to the Attakkalari India Biennial 2013 from 25 January-3 February, the Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts will perform AadhaaraChakra—A Dancelogue, in Bangalore later this month. The biennial, which has been held in Bangalore since 2000, is a platform for fresh voices in contemporary dance, digital arts and research in South Asia.
AadhaaraChakra, a dancelogue on urban migration and integration, is a combination of movement, film, light, multimedia and sound. It will travel to Delhi in December.
It all began when the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan commissioned Jayachandran Palazhy, the artistic director of Attakkalari, to work on a project that would be part of “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities”, a 15-month series of events celebrating the 60th anniversary of Indo-German diplomatic ties. “We wanted to talk about urban landscapes, and India’s diverse urban dynamics has been a pet topic for me,” says Palazhy. Given the large number of migrants in cities like Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi, Palazhy wonders how they fit themselves into a shared physical space, coming as they do from diverse backgrounds. “Often these differences throw up tensions as well, but that we all peacefully coexist is interesting,” he says.
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Photo: Sudeep Bhattacharya
The performance has been choreographed against a backdrop of old markets filled with cries from a variety of vendors that slowly merge into the noise of an Indian city. “I had to resort to a narrative style in which dance is mixed with film,” says Palazhy, who has explored the possibilities of film and other interactive technology for this project. Set in an imagined land that oscillates between past and present, the dance traces a journey. In essence, it is a dancelogue, much like a travelogue.
AadhaaraChakra, which means the cycle of souls, will look at urban life against the backdrop of places that peoples in cities come from. “What are their lineages? How do they place themselves in these new environments? All of this can be seen in performance through a variety of media,” says Palazhy.
The show is interspersed with a video shot by Rupert Schwarzbauer from Germany, cut to music by composers Sam Auinger and Martin Lutz. Visual effects and lights have been designed by Pipon from France, while the multimedia elements have been created by Ken Ferudata from Japan.
While the Bangalore performance will be in an auditorium, the Delhi performance, on 1 December, will take place at the Purana Qila, in keeping with the theme of the dance. “Since Bangalore is our first performance, we wanted the familiarity of an auditorium, but starting with Delhi and then in Europe later, we want to involve the architecture of the city in the performance,” says Palazhy, adding that the meaning of works is often reinvented when performed in the midst of people.
AadhaaraChakra—A Dancelogue will premiere in Bangalore on 23 November at Ravindra Kalakshetra and in Delhi at the Purana Qila on 1 December. Tickets for the Bangalore performance can be bought on Bookmyshow.com, Indianstage.in and at the Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts. Passes for the Delhi event can be picked up from Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, Delhi, and Indianstage.in
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First Published: Wed, Nov 07 2012. 08 23 PM IST