Platform has been a constant leitmotif of the Attakkalari India Biennial. A program envisioned to promote and nurture emerging talent in the contemporary movement arts and dance making space in South Asia, the past editions have seen original ideas and fresh choreographies being presented by young dancers and choreographers who were cherry-picked for it. It is great validation that many of them pivoted off this platform to find recognition on a global stage.
The tradition continues this year with four incredibly talented and award-winning Indian dancers showcasing their independent choreographies for Platform 22.
Day 1 : 11 Jan 2022, Tuesday
Artist Lineup: Priyabrat Panigrahi & Sanjukta Sinha
Venue: Ranga Shankara, Bengaluru
Day 2 : 13 FEB 2022, sunday
Artist Lineup: Devansh Gandhi & Rukmini Vijayakumar
Venue: Ranga Shankara, Bengaluru
Devansh Gandhi & Co. | Bengaluru, India
A contemporary dancer and choreographer, Devansh started his dance journey in 2016 as a student of Dance Inc India in Ahmedabad. He did his Diploma in Movement Arts and Mixed media from Attakkalari in 2018-19. As part of the Attakkalari’s inhouse performing unit he has been a part of many productions including Savage by Lucas Kruse. Besides dancing, Devansh dabbles in filmmaking and editing. A dance instructor, he conducts online/offline workshops in contemporary dance techniques and Bollywood freestyle.
Black is the Colour (45 mins)
The story of Black is the Colour started as a personal journey for Devansh in order to understand and connect with his experiences of sleep paralysis and insomnia. What causes sleep paralysis? Why does the mind feel trapped? What is the significance of black and why does the colour have negative connotations? The dance work attempts to find answers to these questions.
The choreography of the piece is a constant play between the relationship of an individual with themselves as well as other movers. Creating the piece involved working with breath patterns, glitches, improvisations, playing with darkness and light to unveil unconscious impulses and fears triggered through the subconscious mind.
Citizens Of Stage Co Lab | Bengaluru, India
Priyabrat Panigrahi is a performer, teacher and choreographer based in Bengaluru. Trained at the Attakkalari Center For Movement Arts and P.A.R.T.S Contemporary dance school in Brussels, Priyabrat’s focus of interest lies in the intersectionality of dance and somatic practices. A significant part of his work has been about exploring the physical and metaphysical body. He has performed at prestigious international platforms including the Bonjour India Festival, Kalaa Utsavam, The Old Theater Festival and The Hindu Festival.
How Long is Forever (50 mins)
How Long is Forever opens with five bodies in space – five bodies that from a distance appear as part of one fabric or as integrated and dynamic elements of the breathing topography. The production aims to transfer the energetic experience of the five moving bodies to its audience through the interplay of breath, time, energy and space. As a meditation of moments, How Long is Forever reminds you why dance and poetry are necessary for the human experience, particularly at a time of crisis, violence, separation and anarchy. Watching the piece then is not just awe-inspiring but therapeutic too.
Raadha Kalpa Dance Company | Bengaluru, India
Rukmini Vijayakumar is artistic director of Raadha Kalpa Dance Company and director of Lshva, a creative space for artists in the heart of Bangalore. She is the founder of The Raadha Kalpa method, an educational system for Bharatanatyam that is based on the idea of neutrality.
Rukmini has studied Bharatanatyam under Guru Padmini Rao, Guru Sundari Santhanam and Guru Narmada. A graduate of the Boston Conservatory, her process of creation is both traditional and contemporary. She was a recipient of the Jiří Kylián grant for choreography and a resident choreographer at Korzo Theater, Netherlands in 2018.
As a soloist, she has presented her work all over the world including at venues such as the Jacob's Pillow festival, Drive East NYC, and the Korzo Theater. Recently, she played the ‘Goddess of love’ in ‘Sukanya’, produced by The Royal Opera house in London. Her productions have toured India and the world extensively.
Abducted (40 mins)
Abduction is inspired by stories of abduction and retribution in India and around the world. The image of a submissive, helpless woman is repeated through history, across cultures. It is an image that is used to sell commercial merchandise repeatedly. The representation of a physically strong woman in films and comics is largely attached to the physical objectification of women. Can we represent strength and power in a female body without it also carrying sexual appeal? An archetype of a powerful woman who is feared by all is represented in the Indian goddess Kali. Kali is embraced as a figurative female energy who holds within herself the ability to annihilate evil and rejuvenate life. She is sensual but does not cater to the male gaze as a sexual object. She is also not ‘pure’ in the sense of being devoid of sexual energy. At which point does the abuse of power bring out the Kali in us? Abduction sets to find out.
Sanjukta Sinha Dance Company | Ahmedabad, India
Sanjukta Sinha is a dance artist who wears the Kathak technique like a fine cloak draping herself in its opulent traditions with ease. Sanjukta has collaborated with some of the most illustrious names in the industry, and has a wealth of experience performing across local and international arenas. She was awarded the prestigious Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar in 2016 and launched her eponymous dance company in Ahmedabad in October 2019.
Shifting Sands (45 mins)
The name of the dance production metaphorically refers to times that are a’changing. The earth is constantly revolving on its axis and there are changes happening across life, nature, environment, economy, technology, stability and even art forms. A lot like sand that doesn’t hold shape and shifts easily. Shifting Sands implores viewers to take a close look at their inner selves and embrace the constants and the ephemerals that make up their lives. The production narrates its vision by weaving in the essence of Kathak – a dance form that has evolved with time.