Comrades in dance

Updated: Jan 28, 2020, 13:52 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

A talk at an art gallery traces dancers Mallika Sarabhai and Anita Ratnam's parallel and intersectional journeys

Anita Ratnam. Pic/Shriyan
Anita Ratnam. Pic/Shriyan

Every year, beej, an interdisciplinary initiative with a focus on dance, brings together dancers in an event that traces their journey. In its second edition of talks titled Parallel Journeys (in partnership with Sarmaya Arts Foundation), it will feature two exponents, Mallika Sarabhai and Anita Ratnam in conversation with Sanjukta Wagh, dancer and founder-director, beej. They will talk about their respective journeys, as entrepreneurs and innovators in the field. The first edition held last year had featured dancers Astad Deboo and Darshana Jhaveri who spoke about their journeys and its convergence in Manipuri dance.

A part of beej's Garage series that conducts an event centred on dance every fortnight, its objective is to create an archival process and culture around dance. "A way to look at dance beyond performance," Wagh explains. She also has an interesting format for the talk. Both Sarabhai and Ratnam will have keywords marked out for them, ones they will react to. "Some of them will include intersectionality, legacy, spaces and Sita, since both exponents have worked on pieces on the theme," explains Wagh.

Sanjukta Wagh. Pic/Anita Anand
Sanjukta Wagh. Pic/Anita Anand

There will also be focus on the different phases of their lives, their parallel world and places where they converge. Their excursion as entrepreneurs, Ratnam for her dance portal Narthaki and Sarabhai for her performance space Natrani, will be touched upon among other things. "Their journeys deeply resonate with each other and they have been activists, enablers and mentors in their own right," Wagh explains.

The talk will also extrapolate their work in the larger context of dance history in the country and explore evolving dance audiences over the years. "The idea of the garage sessions is to focus on the process behind the performance, and enable dancers to ask questions of themselves and their practice at the end of the day," Wagh says.

Mallika Sarabhai
Mallika Sarabhai

On January 28, 5 pm onwards
At Pundole Art Gallery, 8, JN Heredia Marg, Ballard Estate, Fort.
Email connect@sarmaya.in (to RSVP)
Free

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