Body Languages

What was it
about ?25410

Widening Circles: Pickle Factory Season 2 – a seven-week celebration of diversity in dance and movement – featured artists and guests from India, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Germany and Scotland, spanning backgrounds of classical and contemporary dance, physical theatre, multimedia performance, puppet-theatre, circus-theatre, performance criticism, and more.

Curation 25410

The Season had an international focus on Australia with a circus company from Brisbane, delegates from Cairns and Melbourne, and resident artists from the state of Victoria. The circus company also toured to Mumbai and Aizwal for performances and workshops. Delhi was our national focus, with five very different artists presenting a variety of work from our capital city. 

Apart from the festival, we also ran workshops on audience facilitation and had a focus week on repurposing spaces for the arts.

Components 25410

Pickle Factory Season 2 ran for 42 days (1 November to 12 December 2019), comprising of: 

-Festival with 8 featured artist teams in 12 full performances across 6 venues
18 workshops spanning dance and movement practice, arts management, design, audience facilitation and more
-Focus week on repurposing spaces for the performing arts in Calcutta, with conversations travelling to 5 locations – a music venue, Kolkata Port, Pickle Factory workspace, a bookstore, a blackbox theatre in a converted apartment
Month-long International Artist Residency with a choreographer and filmmaker duo from Australia

Visiting Resident Artists:
Niharika Senapati and Pippa Samaya 25410

“What I find truly interesting and exciting is Pickle Factory’s wide areas of exploration, be it performance from Indian classical dance to puppetry or contemporary performance along
with other aspects of art dealing with art management, workshops on the exploration of body-mind connection, movement, choreography etc. Their wide range of collaborations enlighten the city audience with many new art experiences
across borders.

Monami Nandy, Odissi Dancer, Calcutta, India


We hosted dancer-choreographer Niharika Senapati and dance-filmmaker Pippa Samaya as the first recipients of the Australia-India Dance Exchange – a programme Pickle Factory developed with Asialink Arts, Melbourne. The two artists were in Calcutta for a month, working closely with Calcutta artist Aopala Banerjee to test ideas, conduct workshops, and experiment with new work and models of audience engagement. Three dance films shot in Calcutta have been produced as one of the outcomes of the project. 

-a month-long residency with the dance community in Calcutta 
-Workshops by Niharika Senapati in three locations in the city-Offbeat CCU, Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata Centre for Creativity 

Pickle Factory and Asialink Arts are currently imagining the next iterations of this project in both Australia and India.

Niharika Senapati and Pippa Samaya’s participation in Pickle Factory Season 2 was supported by Asialink-University of Melbourne, Creative Victoria, Kolkata Centre for Creativity, Offbeat CCU and SRFTI. Special thanks to Kerrii Cavanagh, Sarah Jones and Pippa Dickson

Critical Responses Methodology with Judy Harquail 25410

“The Pickle Factory has its finger firmly on the pulse of
Dance in India! Their ideas and programs are exciting,
clever and inventive, it’s always a pleasure to work with this
entire professional team.”

Annalouise Paul, contemporary flamenco performer and
choreographer | Sydney, Australia


Developing audience access and engagement, and the means to nurture this is core to the philosophy of widening circles, we invited Judy Harquail from Toronto, Canada to work with a small group of participants to train them in the Critical Responses methodology. This is a process of audience facilitation that helps audiences to grow, connect, question and draw meaningful insight from the art they experience. The workshop covered training as well as hands on practice, with workshop participants facilitating post-show audience discussions under Judy’s mentorship. Post-show discussions are now a regular part of a Pickle Factory performance experience.

Judy Harquail’s participation in Pickle Factory Season 2 is supported by Kolkata Centre for Creativity, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Presents and The Doodle Room. Special thanks to Reena Dewan, Tanvee Goenka, Titas Dutta, Suman Sarawgi


As part of Pickle Factory Season 2, special conversations and workshops were facilitated by practitioners from Delhi, Mumbai, Australia, Scotland and Germany. 

Efterpi Soropos: 22 November to 24 November 2019
Workshop and Conversation

Mellissa Robertson: 28 November to 29 November 2019

Christine Devaney: 24 November to 28 November 2019
Conversation and Workshop

Greeny Francis: 14 November to 16 November
Performance and Workshop

Sharvari Sastry and Christophe Knoch

Scratch! was a work-in-progress piece which was presented to an audience of peers and mentors by dance practitioners and movement-based artists as part of the Season. 

Spaces for Change / Spaces for Roots 25410

Season 2 venues included plush auditoriums, burnt out cinemas, open terraces, converted blackbox spaces, and television studios, bringing together atmospheric and inspiring spaces, imaginative art and artists, exciting conversations and ideas. This formed the perfect backdrop for a series of conversations to imagine a permanent Pickle Factory venue in a repurposed space in the city. Supported by the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata, the conversations were facilitated by Christophe Knoch from Berlin and Sharvari Sastry from Mumbai. Each conversation was located in a different space: 

Conversation 1: Offbeat CCU, a new music and co-learning venue in a repurposed hotel

Conversation 2: a walk around the Kolkata Port Trust area 

Conversation 3: Ranan Workspace, the home of Pickle Factory 

The conversations crystallized around a two-day roundtable with various stakeholders to discuss how repurposed arts spaces may be created and sustained in Calcutta, with the active involvement of local communities, artists and administrative organisations. The roundtable venues were Seagull Bookstore and Janus Centre for Visual and Performing Arts. We will soon be launching a major new project that has come out of these discussions and exchanges, and the circumstances of the pandemic.

1 to 29 November 25410

“Variety was the catchword in PFS2. From classical dance to contemporary to
experimental works that even included circus theatre. The choice of venues was
an interesting factor. When on the one hand there was proscenium theatre,
on the other there was this cavernous interior of the old dilapidated movie
theatre with an electrifying atmosphere. Added to these the various discussions,
discourses, conversations spread over a month when the very plurality and
diversity and free choice of the country is under threat makes the season itself

Kathakali Jana, dance critic and Pickle Factory advisor | Calcutta, India


Widening Circles: Pickle Factory Season 2 takes forward the belief, featuring artists and guests from India, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Scotland, and Canada spanning backgrounds of classical and contemporary dance, physical theatre, multimedia performance, puppet-theatre, circus-theatre, performance criticism, and more. 

The festival featured the work of internationally acclaimed artists: Aditi Mangaldas, Compagnie 7273, David Carberry, Debashree Bhattacharya, Anurupa Roy/ Katkatha Puppet Trust, Maya Krishna Rao, Urvi Vora, Vaishnavi Mannava


Aditi Mangaldas: 31 October to 2 November 2019
Featured performance – Immersed
In addition to workshops and conversations

Maya Krishna Rao: 4 November-9 November 2019
Featured performance – Loose Woman
In addition to workshops and conversations

Compagnie 7273: 8 to 10 November 2019
Featured Performance – The Lost Wax Project
In addition to a workshops and conversations

Urvi Vora: 10 November to 14 November 2019
Featured performance – SKUM Manifesto
In addition to  workshops and conversations

Vasishnavi Mannava: 14 November to 15 November 2019
Featured performance – Cat’s Cradle
In addition to  workshops and conversations

Debashree Bhattacharya: 12 November to 18 November 2019
Featured performance – Niravadhi
In addition to  workshops and conversations

David Carberry: 19 November to 22 November 2019
Featured performance – Underground
In addition to  workshops and conversations

Anurupa Roy: 23 November to 24 November 2019
Featured performance – About Ram
In addition to  workshops and conversations

The festival was supported by many individuals and organisations in various ways, through sharing artists costs and coordination, providing workshop venues, arranging local hospitality, volunteering their time, and much more. 

We thank SREI, Sanskriti Sagar, Udayan Kala Kendra, School of Women’s Studies Jadavpur University, Dancer’s Guild, Alka  Jalan Foundation, The Creative Arts, Pro Helvetia-Swiss Arts Council, Gem Cinema, Sapphire Creations Dance Co., Swayam, Padatik Theatre, Ranan, Oxford Bookstore, ThinkArts, Janus, Padatik Theatre, Rhythmosaic, Open Doors, Karam Chand Thapar Group Trust, Australian High Commission, KaLaM Club. Mumbai LitLive, QTP, Nachom Dance Foundation, Bharatiya Samskriti Parishad, Arts in Imphal, Kolkata Centre for Creativity, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Presents, The Doodle Room, Asialink-University of Melbourne, Creative Victoria, Offbeat CCU, SRFTI, Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata and Melcalfe Hall. 

Credits and Acknowledgements 25410

“The season was excellent in bringing alternative dance forms
and expressions to the audiences of Kolkata. I think the
audiences enjoyed the opportunity to experience some differen
styles and have their thinking provoked.
For the Consulate, our priority was to showcase modern
Australia and also highlight the Consulate’s new presence in
Kolkata. We want people to think of us as much more than a
cricketing nation with abundant natural resources and great
beaches. Having performers like David and Alice, and experts
like Efterpi, Niharika and Pippa helps us achieve that. It was
also great that David and Alice could visit the north-east of
India where we have less exposure.”

Andrew Ford, Consul-General, Australian-Consulate General, Kolkata

Pickle Factory Season 2 was made possible by the participation of a whole host of individuals and organisations contributing at many different and vital levels. Our grateful thanks to this wonderful and diverse community that pooled in so many resources to make this happen.

The Season 1 Team
season director: Vikram Iyengar 
administration: Tamali Bhattacharya
project manager: Kunal Chakraborty
programmes and publicity coordinator: Peony Sengupta
production manager: Amlan Chaudhuri
intern: Sohini Banerjee
publicity design: Sukanya Ghosh 
website design: Rajarshi Dutta

Season Advisors
Anjum Katyal
Friso Maecker
Kathakali Jana
Malavika Banerjee
Nandita Palchoudhuri
Oindrilla Dutt
Sharmistha Sarker 
Tanusree Sarker

Season Partners
Asialink-University of Melbourne
Asia Europe Foundation
Australian High Commission
Creative Victoria
Goethe Institut/ Max-Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata
Kolkata Centre for Creativity

Programme Partners
Arts in Imphal
Australia Council for the Arts
Calcutta Promotions
Canada Council for the Arts
Dancers Guild
Janus Centre for Visual and Performing Arts
Kalam Club
Karam Chand Thapar Group Trust
Nachom Dance Foundation, Imphal
Ontario Presents
Open Doors
Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council, New Delhi
Project Performance, Jadavpur University
QTP, Mumbai
School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University
Tata Mumbai Literature Live

Venue Partners
Azimganj House
Daga Nikunj
Gem Cinema
Janus Centre for Visual and Performing Arts
Padatik Theatre
Sanskriti Sagar
Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute
Seagull Bookstore

Workshop Partners and Hosts
Alka Jalan Foundation
All Bengal Women’s Union
Anita Kanoi
House of SOW – Song Of Woods Studio
Offbeat CCU
Oxford Bookstore
Sapphire Creations Dance Workshop
Studio Sparsh
The Creative Arts
The Doodle Room
Udayan Kala Kendra

“It was a delightful experience to be a part of PFS2 in Calcutta. I got the opportunity to share time and space with some incredible artists from all over the world and also got to see some amazing performances. The sheer range of things that PF curates is extraordinary and all done so thoughtfully that it is enriching both as an audience member as well as a participating artist. It was also interesting to see how PF interacts with the city of Calcutta. It’s essentially a festival of collaboration with so many partners and it’s so heartening to see so many diverse groups of people coming under one umbrella for the purpose of arts. It was a life changing experience for me to get exposed to arts of this stature..”

Sharvari Sastry, Ph.D Researcher, Mumbai, India / Chicago, USA 

The experience was wonderful and inspiring for all of us – for my musicians and myself. I would like to thank the entire Pickle Factory team for making this performance such a memorable one and organising everything in such a
professional way.”

Aditi Mangaldas, Kathak Dancer and Choreographer, Delhi, India