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:
Here they are with their answers (keep the questions in mind, dear reader) some via email and some via sound waves…
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
Just say a big thank you to all these who were the unseen blood and bones of the Attakalari Biennial 2015.
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