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Manipur dancer to ignite Delhi

New Delhi, January 4: Intertiolly renowned contemporary dancer and choreographer Surjit Nongmeikapam from Manipur is among the contemporary dancers who will perform at the 3rd edition of the IGNITE! Festival of Contemporary Dance 2015 to be held in Delhi from January 11 to 18 this year under the auspices of the Giti Dance Forum in collaboration of the Times of India and Sangeet tak Akademi.

Prominently, he will occupy two spaces at the festival.

One is his solo performance entitled U–Define to be staged at the lawn of Max Muller Bhavan, KG Marg on January 18. U Define is an experimental solo that combines the body and its environment through the use of various movement techniques. It explores the nebulousness of a shaky materialistic world – one that is blinding enough to obscure the real world. “Are we aware of our future?” asks the choreographer? “The earth is shaking and the air is being turned into poison due to heavy pollution, but people are enjoying their short lives,” he comments. “How do we see the future? Green, or grey? U Define”. This is the question thrown to the audience.

‘U Define’ was created during the FACETS choreographic residency, organised by Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts as part of the Attakkalari India Biennial 2013.

Another is his performance with the contemporary dancer Rianto from Indonesia entitled SoftMachine: Surjit and Rianto to be staged at Meghdoot Theatre of Rabindra Bhavan, Copernicus Marg on January 12. It is a double bill performance directed by Choy Ka Fai from Singapore who developed the concept. It is part of the SoftMachine project, which investigates the contemporary status of dance through research across Asia. Choreography and performance are executed by Surjit and Rianto themselves.

The documentary performance series is an intimate collaboration with the individual choreographers, where, from their individual points of view, they interpret and speculate about the choreographic minds of the present future. The documentary performance of Surjit Nongmeikapam will present the process of creating a new dance performance for the consumption of the European audience, revealing artistic strategies, marketing ideologies and the precarious attempt at exoticising oneself. The documentary performance of Rianto explores the tensions between choreographic practices of the traditiol versus contemporary, the masculine versus feminine, and the urbanist versus ruralist.

IGNITE! held every two years, is the only Festival in India with a focus on contemporary Indian dance, this year it expands this focus to including neighbouring countries in the region. The performers and performances in 2015 will come from across India including Bangalore, Cheni, Delhi, Kolkata, Kashmir, Kerala, Manipur, Mumbai and galand; and the intertiol participants will include Bangladesh, France, Germany, Indonesia, Singapore, Switzerland, Sri Lanka , Japan, US and UK. Each performance is steeped in the South Asian context.

The Festival begins with Terence Lewis ‘Scrambled Eggs’ showing for the first time in Delhi and set to take place at Siri Fort Auditorium. The lineup of performers include among others – Annette Leday, Christi Zakiesato, Choy Ka Fai, Hele Waldmann, Santosh ir, Mirra Arun, mrata Pamni, vtej Singh Johar, Padmini Chettur, Rakesh MPS, Rajan Rathore, Riya Mandal, Rianto, Surjit Nongmeikapam, Venuri Perera and many more.

The Festival will take place in multiple venues across Central and South Delhi, while the street performances will be spread across all parts of the city.

The Festival also includes a 3 day conference which looks at critical issues in the contemporary movement space in the region, interspersed with Workshops and Master–classes which are being led by expert practitioners across the arts, including arts policy and magement. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita

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