Besides performances, the Attakalari Biennial 2013 shows how contemporary dance has close links to theatre, digital art, and light and sound design.
The Attakalari India Biennial 2013 is a reflection of the growing interest in diverse dance forms — contemporary dance performances in particular — in recent years. This 10-day international contemporary dance and digital arts festival will feature global choreographers and their new works, emerging choreographers, thinkers and practitioners working around the theme, Frames of Dance, and leading names in performance and experimentation.
Organised by Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts in Bangalore, the Biennial has been gradually scaled up from its previous editions to culminate in a full bodied and truly international festival. The festival will play out at several venues across the city including Jayamahal Palace Hotel, Alliance Française de Bangalore, Ranga Shankara, Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan and ADA Rangamandira.
A great deal of creative work within contemporary dance tends to find its artistic purpose in challenging borders and set definitions. The festival offers audiences the chance to get to know the many approaches that underlie the creative vision of a particular work and measure their own individual responses to it.
Among the performances to look out for are choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s work, Glimpses , which presents a suite of duets showing his trademark choreography including one from Babel (Words) that received the Lawrence Olivier Award in 2011 for Best New Dance Production. Other highlights include Chunky Move’s Glow , the spectacular physicality of Urban Ballet by Compagnie Revolution; Helene Weinzierl’s humorous take on travel and India esnes.no.n2 ; the minimalist appeal of Padmini Chettur’s Beautiful Thing 2 ; the lyrical personal journey in Champloo Dance Company’s White Caps and Felix Mathias Ott’s exploration of a universal myth in Odyssey Complex . Cindy van Acker’s two works — Lanx and Obtus — are explorations of architecture, space and stagecraft while four fresh and exciting works by three South Korean companies — Bereishit Dance Company’s Balance and Imbalance , EDx2 Dance Company’s Modern Feeling and Help and Choe Contemporary Dance Company’s Argument — bring the festival to a close
Artistic Director at Attakalari, Jayachandran Palazhy, is particularly pleased with the several layers that the festival design offers. “There is a renewed interest in creative contemporary dance and we wanted to link it to developments in other mediums like philosophy, film and literature,” he says. The festival has a long-term perspective too with a choreography residency called Facets. In this, an international panel of 15 experts in choreography, theatre, digital arts and light and sound design have been training a group of 16 young choreographers selected from over 180 applications from across the world. Their works will be premiered at the Biennial every afternoon in between performances and discussions.
There is also a platform for emerging artists from South Asia. In Time Frames, an Arts-in-Education initiative, conceptualised by Margie Medlin, Attakkalari’s dancers worked with 100 school children from Gear Foundation, Delhi Public School (Kanakpura), Parikrama Humanity Foundation (Koramangala), Bangalore School of Speech and Drama and Attakkalari’s Community Class to create a piece that explores different concepts of time.
One of the most interesting sections is Transitions, a series of conversations curated by Sundar Sarukkai, professor and director, Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities, media artist Margie Medlin and Jayachandran Palazhy. Fourteen critically acclaimed films on dance — including Wim Wender’s classic Pina , and Lasya Kavya: The World of Alarmel Valli — will catalyse conversations on tradition, form and identities in dance.
The festival offers audiences a chance to get to know the many approaches that can underlie the creative vision of a work and measure their own responses to it.