8 ways to dance

The Pioneer, 29th June 2012

Shohini Dutta tells I Sankrityayan about The Chrysalis Project, featuring interesting choreographers on topics as varied as the metro, reclaiming first love and a civilian-military couple

If you closely follow contemporary choreography, then Danceworx’s The Chrysalis Project, might pique your interest. It will take place between July 26-27 at the Epicentre, Gurgaon.

“The project was a cocoon for budding artistes. It served them a platform to present their choreographic language,” explained its director, Shohini Dutta.

She added, “The idea was born, when I was at Foundation Royaumont in France, and part of a dance composition residency. One of the topics was, ‘Whom do you choreograph for?’ And whether it was for ‘self-expression or the audience?’ And also, ‘What is the function of art in society?’”

Shohini mused, “These deep thoughts cannot be answered in one or two lines. Today, the world changes faster than our thoughts. New technologies are born. And art today reflects this, through aspects like new choreographies.”

The 40-minute performance was divided in eight parts — You’ll Never Walk Alone by Sheila Coleman, Inert by Sanchita Sharma, My Last My First by Manish Kangia and Shadow Story by Rajiv Singh.

Also included were, Remember My Tears by Esteban Olives, Passers By by Ragini Bhajanka, Streeby Shohini Dutta and Phylogeny by Amith Kumar.

You’ll Never Walk Alone by Sheila Coleman was performed by eight dancers. “The performance was an abstract expression of love. Coleman, an American choreographer, trained in ballet, hip-hop and Afro–Carribean used all these traits in her choreography,” Shohini said.

The next section was, My Last My First by Manish Kangia. The story about a girl trying to get back a first love she left owing to differences. “Manish is an engineer-turned-dancer. He portrays human emotions subtly. The lyrical piece was about a girl, willing to restart a relationship,” revealed Dutta.

Shadow Story by Rajiv Singh, meanwhile, was about finding one’s lost individuality. “Rajiv used jazz, ballet and contemporary, reflecting the eagerness of an individual to find his originality.”

Shohini also shared the details about Remember My Tears by Esteban Olives. “Born in Marseille (France), Esteban began to dance at 16 and now teaches choreography styles ranging from contemporary jazz to the Horton technique,” she added. Passers By presented by Ragini Bhajanka. “She used acrobatics and contemporary dance to depict metro life.”

Stree, conceived and choreographed by Shohini herself depicted the loneliness of mythical women like Sati, Draupadi, Sita and Radha. “These women were left alone in the never ending sea of time. But each dealt with the situation differently.”

Amit Kumar’s Phylogeny, used sounds and rhythmic movement. And the last piece, Inert was, “about finding stillness in life, using slow movements.”

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