Indian Dance: Articulations/Tensions/Negotiations with Shivaangee Agrawal and Mandeep Raikhy (2022)

A durational online session with Shivaangee Agrawal and Mandeep Raikhy discussing the embodiment of Indian dance in our current world. Based on their artistic practices and concerns, they invite diverse perspectives from guests across India and the UK, with contributions from Priyanka Chandrasekhar, Avni Sethi, Sandra Chatterjee and Navtej Singh Johar, and invite a dialogue revolving around the following questions, arriving at no neat conclusions.

Can classical Indian dance become a language that allows us to critically engage with the world? How does caste interact with the dynamics of race as Indian dance becomes global? How do we acknowledge the brutal histories in dance forms such as Bharatnatyam? How do we encounter the somatically informed iteration of a form that upholds a nationalist agenda? What exactly is enshrined within a form? Where are the delineations between form and pedagogy? Can these forms exist within a secular framework? How does the question of access negotiate with the notion of specificity? How does the question of access meet the culture of commodification?

To watch the video with closed captions, click CC on the bottom right of the screen.

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Contribution 1: Priyanka Chandrasekhar
Contribution 2: Navtej Singh Johar
Contribution 3: Sandra Chatterjee
Contribution 4: Avni Sethi

London Adavu Practice and interview

This conversation was accompanied by a durational adavu practice session in partnership with London Adavu livestreamed from Siobhan Davies Studios. Dancers from London Adavu network were invited to be with the event by Shivaangee and Mandeep. Adavus are the key technique units that dancers practice globally in Bharatanatyam. Two practitioners, Vinod Nair and Swati Seshadri were interviewed to speak about their relationship to the forms.

This short video document shows edited excepts of footage of the studio day presented here as a compliment to the above discussion of Articulations/Tensions/Negotiations.