Dancing Democracy – Choreographing Protest
Does democracy have a dramaturgical device? Can the performance apparatus shift to stage resistance? Will passive reception awaken through active demonstration? In this verbal-visceral workshop, artist-activist Mallika Sarabhai teaches dancers working with autobiographical material how to navigate authorship and agency in their own practice.
Sarabhai uses these lines from her previous work as a starting point for the workshop experience: ‘Words can free her, words can keep her in her place; Words may heal you, she may die in their embrace’. She then works with the bodies in the room to move them through and beyond words. A slippage of senses is highly encouraged!
This workshop will cover emancipatory choreographic choices, improvisation, personal storytelling and feedback loops.
The workshop has been curated by Nithya Nagarajan as part of the public programs for Asia TOPA 2020.
Image: Mallika Sarabhai / Darpana Archives
DANCING DEMOCRACY WORKSHOP
Saturday 22 February, 11am–4pm
(5 hours including 60 min lunch break)
199 Napier St
ABOUT MALLIKA SARABHAI
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 which 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.