“In 2013, during my ARThink South Asia Arts Management Fellowship, I developed the idea of The Pickle Factory responding to the crying need for a home for dance presentation and development in India. The country has plenty of venues, but most run as commercial ventures for hire with little or no programming direction. While some dedicated venues exist for theatre practice, there is no venue mandated to curate, programme and develop dance work.”
– Vikram Iyengar, project initiator and director
Who we are
The Pickle Factory is a hub for the practice, discourse and presentation of dance and movement-based work in India.
We are inspired by and will constantly revisit the question of what it means to create, share and reflect on such work in a shifting and uniquely Indian context, while being closely connected to an international network of similar endeavours. We will actively work with, for and through performers, audiences and support systems towards a vibrant, invested, and critical culture and community.
The core team – Vikram Iyengar, Ruchira Das, Anubha Fatehpuria, Dana Roy – bring together decades of artistic and managerial experience in India and abroad, and are connected to a strong and diverse national and international network of artists, arts professionals and arts organisations.
Why we exist
The Pickle Factory responds to the absence of spaces for discourse and development for dance in India, spaces where practitioners can
* explore and challenge their practice
* share and exchange ideas and values
* interact with current and potential audiences
embracing and cutting across the many frictions of form, style, aesthetics and politics that divide rather than strengthen us.
What we will do
Curate, Catalyse, Cultivate
- Provide regular performance opportunities for practitioners to experiment with and expand their body of work
- Offer residencies, workshops and training involving local, national and international practitioners evolving a diversity of perspectives
- Create and implement stimulating arts engagement programmes to develop interested and invested audiences
The Pickle Factory: 2018-2020
We will follow a nomadic model for the next few years, entering and activating various old buildings in the architecturally textured fabric of Calcutta, converting them into pop-up arts spaces. Our aim is to establish a permanent venue in such a converted space – possibly the first of its kind dedicated to the movement arts.
Our home: Calcutta
The choice to locate such a venue in Calcutta is a conscious one, taking into account the strong cultural and socio-political history of the city. The city is a true confluence of cultures, a unique pastiche of meeting and morphing histories, times and traditions. This is reflected in its diverse architecture, religious and cultural communities and community expressions, cuisine, languages, academic thought, and artistic practice. Historically a centre for arts experimentation, Calcutta still enjoys a reputation for dealing in the currency of ideas and imagination and is home to a large population of artists and audiences hungry for art.
The Pickle Factory aims to be an anchor around which such a community, area and city can come to life, part of an international network of vital and vibrant arts spaces.