LEAP  ACROSS : PFS4 Weekend 4

In our final Weekend of Season 4 come and LEAP ACROSS cultures, borders, genres & forms of dance and music.

Don Gnu from Denmark – 4 men take us on a surprising journey by simply leaping across the road in Walk-Man. While in Mallika Sarabhai’s Past Forward, 1 woman takes us back through time, leaping across histories, politics and the role of the female voice.

In partnership with Sanskriti Sagar, as we close our Season in G.D.Birla Sabhagar, we look back, we look forward, we leap across.

Friday, 15 March 2024
11am to 12:30pm

Performance of Walk-Man
by Don Gnu
(school show)

7pm to 8pm
Performance of Walk-Man
by Don Gnu

(public show)

Saturday, 16 March 2024
7pm to 8pm

Performance of Past Forward
by Mallika Sarabhai


15 March ’24 | Walk-Man

contemporary physical theatre performance from Denmark
G.D. Birla Sabhagar
11am (special morning show)
Tickets: Rs. 1000/-, Rs. 700/-, 500/- & Rs. 300/-

You will never cross the street in the same way again!

For the first time in India!

DON GNU digs into the tediousness of everyday routines in search of poetry and humour in a performance with muscular physicality and edgy stunt tricks.
One ordinary day, four ordinary men take a walk through a city. They readily follow unwritten and strict rules of good behaviour and norms of social etiquette until one of them suddenly decides to rebel…
With trademark DON GNU “everyday stunts” and raw physicality, WALK-MAN is a performance in which the ground is literally swept away from under the feet of four men walking. In a world where rules, norms and routines no longer apply, a pedestrian is not simply a person crossing the street and common understanding of “good behaviour” falls apart. You will never cross the street the same way again!

WALK-MAN is the first performance of a trilogy about the extraordinary experiences of ordinary Life.

A special morning show has been arranged for schools, colleges and other educational institutions with discounted ticket prices and block booking options. This show is suitable for audiences above the age of 8 years. To sign up, click here!

★★★★★ Aarhus Stiftstidende:

“Fiery and enchanting pedestrian dance!”

★★★★★★ Scenekanten:
“…an impressively beautiful piece of philosophical art”

★★★★★★ XQ28:
“..for taking something so trivial, in this case our way of acting as pedestrians, and turn it into 1 hour and 10 minutes of well-choreographed entertainment”

★★★★★ Kulturnyt: “..a firework of fun and seriousness” 

Watch both Walk-Man and Past Forward with a discounted Season Pass
For 10% discount on block bookings for both performances, call 9830015510

GD Birla Sabhaghar

29, Ashutosh Choudhry Avenue, Ballygunge, Kolkata
West Bengal 700019

16 March ’24 | Past Forward

contemporary bharatanatyam performance
G.D.Birla Sabhagar
Tickets: Rs. 1000/-, Rs. 700/-, 500/- & Rs. 300/-

Bharata Natyam is perhaps India’s most ancient classical dance style. Reflected in the sculptures of the tenth century temple of Chidambaram, it has changed over time, birthing other styles like Odissi and Kuchipudi.
In this contemporary performance Mallika Sarabhai takes us on a time travel over the centuries of the dance style and evolution of the female voice, through her own work of four decades and her trans continental collaborations.
Starting with verses from the 12th century, she travels through changes in lyrics, the position of women, gender and caste politics to end with a piece created recently.

“The performance was magic. What an appropriate travelogue of Bharatnatyam and of feminist interpretations. It stirred our hearts. The audience was mesmerised. At times they cried and had goose flashes…what a tribute”
Abha Bhaiya
Director, Swara Mountain Festival

“Past Forward once again showcases Mallika Sarabhai’s unique understanding of how the classical structure of Bharatanatyam can accommodate modern themes, stories and even rhythms. Her presentation was attended by a young audience that was mesmerised by her use of poetry, contemporary music and even rap in the performance. Truly a must-watch!”
Malavika Banerjee
Director, Kolkata Literary Meet

Watch both Walk-Man and Past Forward with a discounted Season Pass
For 10% discount on block bookings for both performances, call 9830015510

GD Birla Sabhaghar

29, Ashutosh Choudhry Avenue, Ballygunge, Kolkata
West Bengal 700019


13 March ’24 |Practitioners Workshop with Don Gnu

Registration Fee: Rs. 1,000/- 

Join a partnering workshop focusing on how to relate to movement through another body. Borrowing things from contact-improvisation, martial arts and dance through this workshop you will work on touch, sharing weight, body manipulation, lifts and how to find freedom in working with another body. This will be through technical and task based exercises and move into more free movement and composition.


6, 7 A, Acharya Jagdish Chandra Bose Rd, Mullick Bazar, Elgin, Kolkata
West Bengal 700017

Other Events

13 March ’24 | Artist Diaries 1.3 with Don Gnu

Glenburn Penthouse
6pm – 8pm
Registration Fee: 1000/-

Experience an exclusive preview of Don Gnu’s Walk-Man that turns the everyday routines of crossing the street into a wonderfully quirky performance with muscular physicality and edgy stunt tricks laced with poetry and humour Follow this up with a conversation with members of the company facilitated by choreographer-curator Vikram Iyengar. Round off the evening with a curated wine and cheese selection by Fratelli, with a grazing menu from Glenburn Penthouse.

Glenburn Penthouse

Kanak Towers, 7A, Russel Street Kolkata 700071

14 March ’24 | Room to Move

conversation between Mallika Sarabhai, Sumona Chakravarty and Madeleine St. John
TRI Terrace

7pm – 8:15pm


If space is shaped by form and time, then the body plays an active role in determining what it inhabits by the sheer act of inhabitance. In her work as a performer, choreographer, writer, publisher, and social strategist, Mallika Sarabhai examines this relationship between movement and environment — often fusing the classical and the contemporary to forge new forms that redefine space by time and suggest new possibilities for the collective’s inhabitance of the present.

One such piece is Past Forward, a contemporary Bharatnatyam performance serving as the finale of Leap: Season 4 by Pickle Factory. As a precursor to Pickle Factory’s weekend presentation of this original choreography, Mallika Sarabhai sits down with Sumona Chakravarty, Founder of Hamdasti and Madeleine St. John, Director of TRI and Dance Movement Therapy + Expressive Arts practitioner, to discuss what we can learn from the female body and properties of femininity about choreographing change within space and time to develop a more balanced body politic.

Tri Art & Culture

53/2/2, Hazra Rd, Ballygunge, Kolkata, West Bengal 700019

13 March ’24 | Workshop by Don Gnu for Schools

This workshop will focus on physical and situational theatre. The content is based on partner work and task based play.

The starting point for a lot of what  DON GNU does  is using movements from everyday lives and amplifying certain aspects to make new things appear. They will play with the speed and size movements and physicality and how this changes the timing between everyone in the room. What happens when we do things really fast and really slow, really big and really small?

15 March ’24 | Dancers’ Guild Workshop

Dancer’s Guild
10am – 1pm

This workshop uses body, sounds and words to explore what feminist thoughts can embody, and how that lead to creating a piece of performance.



The Ghanshyam Das Birla Sabhagar was established in 1984 by Dr. K.K. Birla. Located under the iconic Radha Krishna Mandir in the heart of Kolkata, the Sabhagar was built as a space to hold primarily religious and philosophical discourses. Since that time, the Sabhagar has grown into an institution promoting arts and culture in Kolkata. Retaining all the charm of old world Kolkata, the Sabhagar today is home to a variety of theatre, musical and dance performances, both classical and contemporary, as well as philosophical and religious lectures and discussions. 


Sanskriti Sagar

Founded in 1985 Sanskriti Sagar is a charitable organization that was created to further the mission of the Sabhagar – to promote and provide a platform for the rich culture of Kolkata and West Bengal. A society comprising of over 300 members, Sanskriti Sagar organizes up to 20 different cultural events over the course of the year for the benefit of its many members. These events range from religious lectures to contemporary plays and are intended to appeal to people of varying age groups. Sanskriti Sagar is also engaged in active collaboration with numerous cultural groups 

DON GNU from Aarhus, Denmark –  is a guarantee of physical action theatre and dance combined in a playful and poetic man-power universe!
The company was founded in 2010 by the two choreographers Jannik Elkær and Kristoffer Louis Andrup Pedersen, who also constitute the artistic duo at the helm of DON GNU. Today the company is one of the most touring companies in Denmark. In addition to extensive tour activities in Denmark, DON GNU has also toured in all the Nordic Countries, South Korea, Canada, big parts of Europe and Cuba.
The company’s name is built around the paradox embedded in the name DON GNU. Don as an individual, and Gnu (wildebeest) as a herd animal, the constellation of both the individual and the collective creates the dynamism, experimentation and development-basis for the ideas that are the hallmark of DON GNU productions.

Mallika Sarabhai is one of India’s leading choreographers and dancers, in constant demand as a soloist and with her own dance company, Darpana, creating and performing both classical and contemporary works. She has a PhD in organisational behaviour and has been the co-director of the prestigious arts institution, Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, for nearly 30 years.
Mallika first made a name for herself in India as a film actress but soon was recognised as an exceptional young dancer in the classical forms of Bharata Natyam and Kuchipudi. At 18, she won the first of many awards.
She first came to international notice when she played the role of Draupadi in Peter Brook’s The Mahabharata for 5 years, first in French and then English, performing in France, North America, Australia, Japan and Scotland.
Always an activist for societal education and women’s empowerment, Mallika began using her work for change. In 1989 she created the first of her hard-hitting solo theatrical works, Shakti: The Power of Women. Since then Mallika has created numerous stage productions which have raised awareness, highlighted crucial issues and advocated change, several of these productions have toured internationally as well as throughout India.
In the mid 90s Mallika began to develop her own contemporary dance vocabulary and went on to create short and full-length works which have been presented in North America, Scotland, Singapore, China and Australia, as well as in India

Aditi Ramesh is an Indian singer, songwriter, and musician who is known for her unique fusion of Indian classical music, jazz, and soul. She gained popularity for her powerful vocals, intricate melodies, blend of genres and socially conscious lyrics. Ramesh has released 2 EPs and several singles and has performed at various music festivals and venues in India and around the world. Her music video for ‘Shakti’ was Rolling Stone India’s number one music video of 2021. Apart from her original work she also composes background scores for films, series, animations and other projects. She is considered one of the emerging voices in the Indian independent music scene.

Sumona Chakravarty is the founder of Hamdasti, a Kolkata-based arts platform for socially engaged arts practices. Her work is participatory in nature, engaging diverse communities over a long period of time and collaboratively intervening in public spaces. Sumona is a graduate of the Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, Bangalore, with a Masters degree from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. She has been a Fellow in the ArtThink South Asia Program at Khoj, Delhi and at the Global Cultural Leaders Program, hosted by the European Union. She is currently working at DAG as the Vice President of the organizations Museum Programme.

Madeleine St. John is an arts practitioner, producer, writer, and researcher whose work at the intersections of culture, care, and philanthropic practice centers on sensuous solutions and curatorial interventions for humanitarian questions.
Madeleine has explored her questions on what constitutes human and humane humanitarian practice over the course of a career spanning several iterations of nonprofit leadership — from communications to community engagement to program design and resource development. Simultaneously, Madeleine has turned to aesthetics to respond to the humanitarian sector’s call for more sensitive processes and programs, facilitating both Dance Movement Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy for Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding amongst survivors of gender-based violence and other marginalized populations.
In her current roles as Director of TRI Art & Culture and Expressive Arts Therapy facilitator, Madeleine employs cultural programming as community cultivation to create cultures of care through the development of sensual intelligence while epiphenomenally establishing organizational practices rooted in a sense of humanness that can help us make sense of our world.


Aishika Chakraborty, Anjum Katyal, Anubha Fatehpuria, Bente Wolff, Gautam Dhavle, Husna-Tara Prakash, Jonaki Sircar, Madeleine St. John,
Malene Cathrine Pedersen, Muskan Sukarchakia, Nitasha Thapar, Oindrilla Dutt, 
Parbati Dutta, R. K. Daga, Sapana Mehta,
Sarah Højholt, Shaun Kenworthy, 
Smita Bajoria, Sunil Bhandari, Swapan Mitra, Varun Thapar