The debut offline edition of a dance festival will blend movement with music, art and technology for a one-of-a-kind experience
Performing artistes Sasha Shetty
Can movement be restricted to dance? Andheri-based movement artiste Kunaal Sangtani believes not. A theatre-maker employs movement while performing, as does a painter while creating on a canvas. Similarly, running or walking embody movement. It is this free-spirited outlook towards the art form that will shape the debut on-ground edition of The Elemental Playground, a unique dance and arts festival that Sangtani’s platform, The Movement Hub, is hosting at a Lower Parel venue this weekend.
Founded in June 2020, The Movement Hub creates an inclusive space for dancers and movement artistes from all genres, and also conducts classes in Chembur and Santacruz. Five editions of The Elemental Playground have already brought dancers together online; in its sixth iteration, the festival will take the form of a metaphorical playground where dance meets music, poetry, rap and cross-reality (AR/VR/MR), among other disciplines. The idea, Sangtani shares, is to explore and interpret dance and movement vis-a-vis other art forms.
The day-long festival will kick off with a workshop led by Leonel Sequeira that will get participants into the groove. At the next event, Elemental X Change, art, music, poetry, rap and dance will fuse to create an interdisciplinary dialogue. “There will be a musician who will be playing throughout, and there will be three rounds of poetry and three rounds of movement. This blend of movement, music and poetry will act as a stimulus for a painter who will create a painting on the spot. It will be like an open jam; so, viewers who are feeling the vibe can also join in,” he elaborates.
Mukta Nagpal and Ashish Rao
Sangtani will take the stage next for a live choreography session wherein the audience will quite literally dance to his tunes. The artiste will assign movement and positions to some colours and shapes. “Every participant’s entry band will have these colours and shapes that will help to create different formations. I will compose the way they move into formations. The participants will get to interact with each other, and not just the friends they come with,” he points out.
Next up, The Platform will witness performances by artistes Sasha Shetty (Russian classical ballet), Neeraj Lohani (contemporary), Sangtani (movement artiste), Mukta Nagpal and Ashish Rao (contemporary), and Shivanshu Soni (Kathak fusion with street). It will be followed by a fun afterparty, he reveals. And for those of you wondering whether it’s all dance and no play, there will also be a day-long flea market of small businesses, where you can pick up clothing, food, accessories, art and more.
One of the coolest elements of the festival is a virtual reality (VR) and technology space called Omniverse — a future-generation art museum directed by ShifuAsh that fuses dance art with different media, including architecture, photography, video production, cross-reality, music, audio engineering, narrative writing, and more. “You will see dance exhibits come to life, for instance moving installations and holograms. They have also created a VR experience around dance,” Sangtani reveals.
On: August 21; 12 pm onwards
At: AntiSocial, Mathuradas Mill Compound, Lower Parel.
Log on to: insider.in
Cost: Rs 999 onwards