dance Art

Hakanaï, Hyderabad: in a light-bending reverie

Hakanaï converges the technology zeitgeist with a cathartic dance to evoke nuances of evanescence

Imagine this; a dancer dressed in white steps into an open box and sways along with dreamy and bass-heavy music, interacting with lights and creating mesmerising ripples. As the music shifts, the movements follow suit as do the lights. This is Hakanaï and India will be privy to the evocative experience this week.

French dancer Virginie Barjonet is collaborating with vetted dancer Priyabatra Panigrahi to recreate the Hakanaï experience for India. With performances in Bengaluru and Chennai behind them, the duo are extremely excited for the next stage of their tour.

Hakanaï, which is Japanese for ‘fleeting’and ‘delicate,’is described as a “choreography that draws the evanescence of dreams and the impermanence of things.” This emotive digital art and dance was created by Claire Bardainne and Adrien Mondot of the Adrien M et Clair B Company in 2013 after careful formulating with a large team of programmers, scenographers, sound designers and visual artists.

Visual poetry T here’s more to Hakanaï than meets the eye

Visual poetry T here’s more to Hakanaï than meets the eye  

Forty three-year-old Virginie came across Hakanai in her continual discovery of new dance forms. She was enraptured by the idea of placing the human body at the heart of technological and artistic platforms.

The resulting visual poetry encouraged her to follow through with a recreation after contacting Adrien M et Clair B Company. “The video was truly spectacular so it felt right to want to see it in real life,” she recalls, “Hakanaï represents very momentary things in life; so the digital art invites several emotions. We can improvise in this particular performance while there are some cues and appointments to follow like with the music.”

Twenty six-year-old Priyabatra has an extensive background in movement arts; he studied in Brussels’ PARTS School for Contemporary Dance for two years before returning to India. Freelancing here and there resulted in a serendipitous audition for Hakanaï last year.

“In just a small amount of time, so much has happened. With Hakanaï, the more I got to know about the choreography, the more excited I got,” he comments, adding he’d never worked like this before, “I have done stage performances but the technology in this is very present. The whole concept of me inside the box is like a story for the audience and the dancer.”

Hakanaï, Hyderabad: in a light-bending reverie

Interestingly, rehearsals didn’t happen with the box; the idea behind the choreography is to nail the dreamlike yet emotional movement — so Priyabatra had to imagine the box around him.

The first show which took place in Bengaluru had a couple of hiccups, according to Priyabatra, “I was so nervous because the box arrived on the same day as the show; I wanted to practise a lot more beforehand. While there is music, the journey for the dancer feels silent and almost like a meditation. When we were starting, Virginie told me it feels like a dream that comes and goes. The graphic design around the dancer amplifies what’s happening in your mind. We do feel like there are eyes on us during this dance, though. It feels even more powerful, because they’re watching us and the digital art around us.”

With arduous practice underway, Virginie and Priybatra are both ready to undergo the process of pushing audiences’ imaginations as well as the proverbial envelope through this revolutionary tech-and-dance overlap.

Hakanaï will be staged as part of Bonjour India at Hyderabad Convention Centre in Hitech City on Wednesday January 31 at 7:30pm. Book your free slot at

Hakanaï will also be taking place inNew Delhi and Kolkata.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 12:07:14 PM |

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