Sunday, 7 November 2010

Found in Translation

This week I have been traveling to Manchester to work with Sankalpam, a Classical Indian dance company directed by Mira Gokul and Stella Subbiah. Sankalpam have commissioned me to create a short piece alongside  choreographers Luca Silvestrini and Stella Subbiah herself in collaboration with theatre director Philip Zarilli. Dancers Lucia Tong, Kamala Devam, Charly Ashwell and Natalia Thorn perform the works. This was another opportunity for me to follow my obsession with counting. I found various patterns of counting in circles and gave them to the dancers to interpret. It was exciting to see the Bharata Natyam application to the numerical concet. Last Friday we premiered the programme entitled "Corporeality" at the greenroom, where Sankalpam have been resident for the last week, rehearsing and teaching open workshops. Looking at the three very different works by the three individaul choreographers, we decided on a journey that gradually strips away layers and leaves us with the physicality of the dancers.
We started with Luca's piece, which draws from the dancers' biographies, followed by Stella and Phillips work, which deals with the psycho-physical process of Abhinaya (internal acting) to end with my piece, which is a minimal and abstract dance piece. We received a very warm response from the audience at the greenroom, which was followed by a question and answer session. Someone asked, what was lost and what was gained in translation. Everyone agreed that they discovered a new ease in their process when opening it up to the performers who brought new responses and new materials with themselves. Moving outside of our familiar comfort zone and searching for new meeting points was a risk worth taking and that seemed to cross over to the audience.

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"Corporeality" tours in the UK in November to Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (6/11), Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster (9/11) , The Brindley, Runcorn (12/11), Laban Theatre, London (16+17/11), Barbican Theatre, Plymouth (19/11)

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