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.

Module 1

‘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 contact.picklefactory@gmail.com

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.