Pickle Factory Preludes

This is a series of two-session modules presented in partnership with the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata. The aim is to develop a critical vocabulary around practice, and create the space and habit of imaginative discourse open to both offering and meeting challenges.

Whether you are a dance practitioner, audience, scholar, critic or student, how to read and respond to dance and movement-based performance is a constant concern. How do you make meaning of a work of art, informed by a sense of history, personal or collective experience, or some other lens? This programme addresses precisely these questions through playful and provocative, inventive, intuitive and interrogative participatory processes – much like how artists create their work.
Participants will dive into the world of dance, drawing from the disparate worlds of film, art, literature, to illuminate facts and fiction, imagine scenarios, propose and workshop staging ideas, and discover intuitive synergies that contributed to major shifts in how the dancing, moving body is presented and received. Each module comprises two sessions, and focuses on a seminal moment in time and dance history exploring parallel chronologies in India and across the world. Led by a range of facilitators and with inputs from guest speakers, the series invites and inspires participants to perceive closely, think critically, and create meaning that reaches beyond personal opinions and enters the realm of ideas that art – by its nature – imagines and inhabits.

3 AND 4 JUNE 2018

What are the root philosophies of American Modern Dance? How were they a response to the times and to New York?
What ideas of dance aesthetic and technique did they move away from, and what defining character and technique did they develop?
How did they create an interdisciplinary way of working across the arts?
What is the legacy? What continues, what ruptures (Postmodern Dance)?
Can we think of similar dance movements in India that we could call Modern in our context?

Ranjita Karlekar, modern dance teacher and choreographer for over three decades, takes us through these questions through an open-ended discussion process, illustrated with archive videos, articles, photographs, demonstrations, and movement exercises.

Dates: 3 and 4 June 2019 (Monday and Tuesday)
Time: 5 to 7pm
Venue: Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata, Library (Park Mansions, Gate 4, 57A, Park St, Kolkata, West Bengal 700016, India)

Participation by registration only.
Fees: Both days: Rs. 500/- / One day: Rs. 300/-
Discounts available for dance students and previous Preludes participants.Rs. 500/- (includes both sessions)
To register, click here
For more details, call 9007428375 or email [email protected]
Click here to join the Facebook event and follow updates

About the facilitator
Trained in bharatnatyam, kathakali and modern dance, Ranjita Karlekar is a teacher of modern dance, ballet and jazz, and a resource person at two community programmes. During her postgraduate studies in Dance Ethnology at UCLA, she also trained in west African and jazz dance. She has extensive experience in producing dance and theatre performances as well as dance and music festivals, and choreographing for schools, universities and professional companies. She is Network Chair for Research and Documentation of the West Bengal chapter of the World Dance Alliance, India.


How do we rethink our present democratic forms, and speculate towards new forms of assembly-making?
What role does body-based practice have in actively re-imagining mass movements?
How might we use the body to imagine new forms of society?
In this edition of Pickle Factory Preludes, independent curator and writer Abhijan Gupta discusses practices of experimenting with forms of assembly-making with Thanapol Virulhakul, artistic director of the Democrazy Collective in Bangkok, and JK Anicoche, artistic director of the Sipat Lawin Ensemble in The Philippines. The common concern is the need to think of performance as a driver for political action.

Dates: 13 and 15 November 2018 (Tuesday and Thursday)
Time: 5 to 7pm
Venue: Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata, Library (Park Mansions, Gate 4, 57A, Park St, Kolkata, West Bengal 700016, India)

Participation by registration only. Fees: Rs. 500/- (includes both sessions)
To register, click here
For more details, call 8910768391 or email [email protected]
Click here to join the Facebook event and follow updates

About the facilitators and guests
Abhijan Gupta is an independent curator and writer, and with Pujita Guha, the co-director of the Forest Curriculum. His practice examines the construction and production of knowledge in different contexts, and uses the spaces of the curatorial to produce modes of indisciplinary thought. He is currently a Fellow of the Forecast Platform at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, and has been a Fellow of the Tate Research Centre: Asia, at the MMCA, Seoul and researcher-in-residence at the HSLU-University of Applied Arts and Sciences, Luzern Switzerland and at the Tentacles Art Gallery in Bangkok. He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University of Baroda, India and holds a certificate from the ENSBA, Paris.
Thanapol Virulhakul is a theatre-director, and choreographer, and co-director of the Democrazy Theatre Studio in Bangkok. He is interested in choreographies of public movement, and the use of the body in dictatorial and democratic political systems. He draws reference from a variety of sources including Butoh, Nepalese Cham, and street theatre in developing new methodologies and vocabularies for political action.
JK Anicoche is a Manila-based performance-maker, curator, storyteller and educator. He is the artistic director of contemporary performance company The Sipat Lawin Ensemble and festival director of Karnabal Festival: Performance and Social Innovation. He is the founder of Project Banig: Storytelling Everywhere Campaign encouraging volunteerism and storytelling in communities.
Anjum Katyal is an editor, writer and translator. She is the author of several books on theatre, and has a number of translations to her credit. She is a published poet, and is currently Director, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival.



‘Natir Puja’: Tagore, Dance and Modernity
facilitated by Aveek Sen and Vikram Iyengar

Natir Puja can be read equally as Tagore’s propounding of a new theory, aesthetic and philosophy of dance. In what may be considered as one of the modern moments in the history of dance in India, Tagore was experimenting in Shantiniketan by bringing together Kathakali, Manipuri, Ceylonese dance and various other influences from his travels in east and south-east Asia.
Re-approaching the text of Natir Puja in hindsight as propounding a pluralistic theory of dance as well as dealing with issues of gender, freedom of religion and more, we imagine a fantasy production for today. What could it propose back to us almost a century after it was written? And how would that differ from what Tagorean dance (Rabindra Nritya) has come to stand for today as a form, as a practice, as a proposition in movement?

Dates: 1 and 3 August 2018 (Wednesday and Friday)
Time: 5 to 7pm
Venue: Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata, Library (Park Mansions, Gate 4, 57A, Park St, Kolkata, West Bengal 700016, India)

Participation by registration only. To register, click here
For more details, call 8910768318 or email [email protected]

About the facilitators
Aveek Sen is a writer and educator, working across literature, cinema, music and the other arts. He studied English literature at Jadavpur University, Calcutta, and University College, Oxford, and taught at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. He was the recipient of the 2009 Infinity Award for writing on photography, given by the International Center of Photography, New York. He was associate editor (editorial pages) of The Telegraph, Calcutta, where he wrote a column called “Art & Life”. He has written extensively with artists like Dayanita Singh, Roni Horn, Moyra Davey, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and On Kawara.
Vikram Iyengar is a dancer, choreographer, theatre director, performing arts researcher and writer, arts manager and curator based in Calcutta, India. He is co-founder of the kathak-based performance company, Ranan and initiator of The Pickle Factory – a proposed venue for dance and movement practice and discourse. Vikram’s range of work in India and abroad spans productions and workshops with dancers and actors, performance collaborations, research and curation projects for several arts bodies, and various organisational roles. An ARThink South Asia Arts Management Fellow (2013-2014), he was Global Fellow of the International Society for the Performing Arts (2017). He is one of four Asia Pacific participants in the first international cohort of the Arts Leaders programme run by the Australia Council for the Arts (2017-18). In 2015, Vikram was awarded the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar from the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Government of India for his work in contemporary dance.