All about the bass, no treble

Kirtana Kumar, a participant at the Writing on Dance Lab, asks the on-ground festival and production teams three questions to understand their motivation for working at the Attakkalari India Biennial 2015.

The Attakkalari Biennial 2015 has been supported on the ground by a whole bunch of theatre folk. Besides Bahadur, who is an institution at the Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts and Pia Bunglowala, a freelance dancer, the rest are actors, directors and others shadows and sprites who have worked themselves to the bone. So why do they do it? Sheer generosity of spirit? The hope that dancers will then reciprocate? I thought, I’d ask them three simple, not too taxing questions, but first I asked when they would be free and to please not growl at me. Here’s what I got:

Vinod Ravindran: Grrrrrrrrrrr....

Then I thought it best to pussyfoot around them while they were managing / hanging lights / rolling out dance floors / wiping tears at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Ranga Shankara and Alliance Française de Bangalore respectively. I caught Ruhi Jhunjhunwala, albeit in a frenzy of “But the show is about to begin!”-ness and asked her (and the rest) 3 questions:

  1. Your name?
  2. And you do, for your life and passion?
  3. And you’re working at a dance festival why?
  4. In your concerted opinion, is it really all about the bass no treble?

Here they are with their answers (keep the questions in mind, dear reader) some via email and some via sound waves…

  1. Fizz
  2. For passion I do potty. For life is the same.
  3. Because I have no other work now.
  4. I like a good amount of mids. But yeah, if not, fuck the treble.
  1. Sunitha M Ramachandra
  2. I work as a performer and in the arts as various things.
  3. Working because I needed the money, and dance is familiar territory.
  4. It's about bass and treble.

Remember ya’ll –

If these shadows have offended

Think but this and all is mended

They’re overworked and exhausted

And looking to catch a break

Yeah, so don’t expect any tetrametric endings

No couplets, yo

No smarties

Just say a big thank you to all these who were the unseen blood and bones of the Attakalari Biennial 2015.

Kirtana Kumar


Ligament, the online dance journal, has been launched to reflect the keen rise in the interest to contextualise, reflect and voice the goings-on around contemporary dance practices in the South Asian region. It has been envisioned as an avenue that is aimed at prompting and encouraging a sustained engagement between contemporary dance practitioners, thinkers, writers, artistic practitioners from other mediums, stakeholders and the wider public. Over the past editions of the Attakkalari Dance Biennial, there has been a continuous effort to create a space for writing on dance; and with this squarely in mind, Ligament has been conceived as a platform to facilitate the much-needed articulation and thinking through this evolving language. We hope to accomplish this by looking at this artistic practice through the perspective of historical threads that helped shape, through practice and creation of work, which is adding and solidifying the ever-changing lexicon and its presentation, or even through research and scholarship. The endeavour is to make this an open, creative and vibrant forum that invites ideas, contributions and suggestions allowing for the collective development of this artistic practice in the South Asian context; as well as mapping its links and impacts on contemporary dance as a whole. On one hand, it is about looking at contemporary dance as a growing repository of our present realities and on the other hand delving into our rich heritage of physical and performative traditions in an attempt to seek continuum and elucidate the now. In an attempt to ravel the medium of contemporary dance, We aren’t simply interested in text as a mode of expressing, reading, examining and looking at contemporary dance but to reflect the dynamic and interactive nature of the movement arts, we are also looking towards image, sound and video and the practitioners of these mediums to create and catalyse conversations. We hope that dialogue and discourse enabled through Ligament opens various entry points into the ongoing shifts in contemporary dance for its lovers, practitioners, enablers and its future.

- Jayachandran Palazhy
Artistic Director, Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts

or press esc

What We Do When We Do Contemporary Dance

Ten days of a Writing on Dance Laboratory has triggered these eight writers to ask interesting questions of contemporary dance – its practice, its presentation, its process, its purpose. Through this issue of Ligament, there is an unpacking, undoing and unmaking of this evolving form in order to investigate its impulse, to develop discourse. Writers - - - - - - - - - Asoka Mendis de Zoysa Kirtana Kumar Namita A Nithin Manayath Ranjana Dave Roshan Kumar Mogali Ruhanie Perera Swar Thounaojam Contributors - - - - - - - - - Manola K Gayatri Sundar Sarukkai Editors - - - - - - - - - Deepika Arwind Joshua Muyiwa

The Biennial Issue

Ten-days of this contemporary dance festival besides mainstage performances, a presentation of young choreographers and a showcase for emerging South Asian performers will also enable and engender eight writers at the Writing on Dance Lab to look at the presented works, process the multiple conversations – in and around the festival and reflect on politics, economics and discourses around contemporary dance as practice. Editorial Team - - - - - - - - - Asoka Mendis de Zoysa Deepika Arwind Joshua Muyiwa Kirtana Kumar Namita A Nithin Manayath Ranjana Dave Roshan Kumar Mogali Ruhanie Perera Swar Thounaojam

Dance Plays Well With Others

The practice of dance has the openness and quality to reverberate, echo, channel, learn and even submit to the sway of the artistic practices. In this issue of Ligament, we investigate its relationship to sound, its ambition to take on architecture, its affect on theatre to grasp at the genius of this form.


What do we look for in dance? What do curators watch for? What is the producer enabling for the the audience’s eyes? What does the spectator see? In this issue of Ligament, we look at the practice of dance from different angles.

Dancer in the Digital

In this issue of Ligament, we look at the digital in reference to contemporary dance making, in terms of the digital’s affect on dance – its making, its practice and its preserving.

Traditional / Contemporary

In this issue, we look at the tensions, the juxtaposing and the parallels between these two streams of artistic practices through dance makers and commentators.

Location! Location! Location!

Our first issue of Ligament is a step towards contextualising contemporary dance in the South Asian region beginning with the idea of location. The notion of the impact of place on the creation, representation and presentation of contemporary dance as an artistic practice.