ATTAKKALARI INDIA BIENNIAL - A Festival of Contemporary Dance and Mixed Media
Held in Bangalore, India, every two years since 2000,Attakkalari India Biennial is a unique platform in South Asia for fresh voices in contemporary dance, digital arts and research. The nature of Bangalore's geopolitical and cultural location makes it a strategic centre to initiate a North-South dialogue on innovation and performance arts with an international perspective. Apart from its committed audience base in Bangalore, the Biennial also attracts audiences from all over India, and increasingly, internationally.
Attakkalari Biennial was such an exhilarating experience. The choice of the NGMA for the opening was spot on and Ranga Shankara scored as a space that allowed for just the right degree of intimacy between the performer and the audience. I met some really interesting people, had quite a few animated conversations and saw Ningyo and Traces [Attakkalari India Biennial 2011], each exciting in its own way - the former, of course a finished piece, the latter, work-in-progress. For now, I just want say, thank you for your hospitality and warmth and to wish you the very best as you continue with all the hard work to create, nurture and popularise contemporary dance in India.
You are an incredible team and you do an incredibly amazing job for the dance in Bangalore, for India and for all lovers of multiple and diverse dance aesthetics in the world. You have a wonderful spirit, especially by taking care for young choreographers from all over the world as well as from India and a great courage to expose all kinds of art forms of dance from all over the world. It was important for me to see it myself and experience all the details. I think we are big step further in our cooperation and exchange.
As the world around us undergoes rapid changes and becomes ever more unpredictable,
challenging and altering our sense of identities, new connections and relations are
constantly in the making, opening new frontiers that lead to opportunities as well as
challenges. However, the potentially unsettling nature of these rapid changes can also
lead to the seeping in of alienation, helplessness and apathy in our lives. While these
reformulations and recalibrations are taking place – unprecedented both in scale and
complexity – it seems our immediate and imperative task is to be able to find
meaningful tools and devices to connect the dots of multiple realms of our identities;
to connect with oneself and the world, and make sense of our lives, lest we lose the
purpose of living.
Dance is one such tool available to us. It allows us to be in touch and connect with
different parts of our lives, and that of the people around us, however seemingly
unconnected and often disparate they might appear to be. Now more than ever, it can
help us piece the fragments of contemporary experiences together in a physical and
visceral way, while profoundly impacting our perceptions and outlook.
While the tumultuous tides of change are bashing our socio-cultural fabric, often
resulting in enforced individuations, reclaiming the psycho-physical and spiritual self as
well as community is vital for our well-being. As a region of rich traditions, South Asia
has this possibility of connecting with both our inheritance as well as contemporary
experience on one hand and reaching out to the wider world on the other. Dance and
performance always played a vital role in bringing people together in this part of the
world, as indeed the case in most parts of the world, and offered them the possibility
of imagining something beyond the ordinary.
Within the compulsions of geopolitics and our massive consumption, there is also a
growing need for a harmonious relationship between the arts and ethics, and the arts
and the environment. Dance, in its myriad forms and expressions, seems another way
to be able to address this need, given its inherent understanding of the body, it ability
to exist in any environment – created or natural – and its quality to include rather than
exclude or exploit.
The Attakkalari India Biennial 2015 is an attempt to present a cross-section of
responses by dance-makers and artists from allied disciplines to our multiple realities
today. Stemming out of many shared contemporary concerns, yet created in different
parts of the world and in diverse contexts, these performances offer us a window to
several exciting realms of imagination. These carefully curated performances of
acclaimed and established artists, as well as fresh, emerging ones, will certainly put us
in touch with nascent and yet powerful moments of revelations.