A Grand Opening
THE 10th ATTAKKALARI INDIA BIENNIAL GETS OFF TO A GREAT START WITH SPELL-BINDING PERFORMANCE OF STHAVARA-JANGAMA
Attakkalari India Biennial officially launched the 10th edition of the contemporary dance and digital arts festival in Bengaluru’s beloved culture space, Bengaluru International Centre, on Friday, January 7, 2022. Special guests for the evening were Dr Michael Heinst, director of Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore and Mr Friedrich Birgelen, deputy Consul General of the German Consulate, Bengaluru.
Hosted by popular anchor and event presenter Vasanthi Hariprakash, the evening began with a brief welcome address followed by the premiere of Sthavara-Jangama, a site-specific multimedia performance choreographed by artistic director of Attakkalari, Jayachandran Palazhy and performed by Attakkalari Dance Company and guests. The premise of Sthavara-Jangama was to explore the amorphous relationship that humans share with the physical space and structures around us. The performance also sought to explore how notions of home can transform from that of a safe and secure place of refuge to one of seclusion and tension.
The show as it unfolded gave the Bengaluru audience a performance they won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Sticking to the brief of being site-specific, the dance ensemble accompanied by musicians MD Pallavi, Bindhumalini and percussionist Vishwa Bharat took the audience along with them around the premises of BIC. With the ruins of Hampi serving as the backdrop, the dance performance began on the terrace. The audience then was led down to the entrance of the venue where Palazhy performed a solo which was projected on a screen as VR imagery. The performance did go digital here courtesy German theatre director and digital artist, Chris Zieglar’s technical wizardry.
The stairs, the foyer and the auditorium were the next stops for the audience as they watched the dancers move and imbue the angst of the homeless. Images of distraught migrants struggling to make their way home during the peak of lockdown in 2020 in the background made this a sobering performance. Refrains of songs - both Bhakti poetry and Vachanas- in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Bengali by the musical duo took the multi-layered dance act several notches higher.
Almost 80 mins long, Sthavara-Jangama received a standing ovation. The evening ended with the felicitation of the dancers, the musicians and the technical crew.
The 10th Attakkalari India Biennial will now continue with a slew of performances slated for January and February. For details, visit www.attakkalaribiennial.org and @attakkalari_centre on Instagram.
For artiste interviews and festival information, contact:
Sthavara-Jangama is a site-specific multi-media promenade performance that explores the amorphous relationships that us humans have with landscapes and built architectures that surround us. The piece also ties in Vachana poetry and explores the thoughts of Karnataka’s vachana poets and their quest for freedom from social norms.
Choreographer: Jayachandran Palazhy
Digital Arts: Christian Zeiglar
Consultant and advisor on literature & heritage: HS Shivaprakash
Text and dramaturgy: HS Shivaprakash
Music composers: MD Pallavi and Bindhumalini
Anchor: Vasanthi Hariprakash
Percussionist: Vishwa Bharath
Light Design: Shymon Chelad
Costume Design: Aloka D’souza
Video Camera: Vishnu P Nambiar
Still Camera: Rajkumar Samuel
Dancers: Attakkalari Dance Company & Guests
Special mention: Sthavara-Jangama features poems from the Singing in the Dark anthology edited by K Satchidanandan and Nishi Chawla and published by Penguin Random House.