The Gati Forum

New Performance

Grant Period: Over three months

The Gati Forum established the Gati Summer Dance Residency (GSDR) in 2009 to enable emerging choreographers to explore and test their creative ideas, develop choreographic skills and reflect on their creative processes. In 2010, IFA supported the second edition of the GSDR, which hosted four artists for six weeks in Delhi. This grant provided partial support for the GSDR 2011. The growing number of applications that the Residency attracts provides ample evidence that GSDR has grown in prominence among the performing arts constituency. Six artists in the early stages of their careers with an interest in reflective performance practices in classical and contemporary dance forms were chosen for GSDR 2011.

Mentorship being a key component of the GSDR, the Residency was preceded by a meeting of mentors, facilitators and invited resource persons from the dance field to reflect on the mentoring process. The meeting enabled discussions around what mentoring meant and entailed, and how the mentors should approach their role of engaging with the residents to stimulate and steer their choreographic exploration and experimentation. Chris Lechner, classical ballet dancer and choreographer, Anusha Lall, choreographer and dancer, and Maya Rao, theatre director and actor, were the ‘core mentors’.          

The Residency began with an introductory session in which the residents shared their previous work with everybody. It was followed by an intensive workshop for the residents in which the mentors focused on encouraging the residents to reflect on the works they had created before, and the choreographic ideas that influence their dance-making. The residents were then paired with mentors and began working on their respective projects. In addition to the full-time core mentors, the residents worked with two guest mentors, Victoria Hauke, a German choreographer, and Jean Christophe Lanquetin, a French scenographer, who had been invited to participate in the Residency thanks to the Max Mueller Bhavan and the French Embassy. Through their workshops, the guest mentors encouraged the residents to generate movement material, explore different possibilities for spatial compositions and take critical decisions on designing the choreographic spaces.

GSDR 2011 culminated with the presentation of original pieces of solo or ensemble performances created by the residents, which were displayed to the public in New Delhi in June. To share the GSDR 2011 experience with dancers in other cities, the Residency travelled to Kolkata soon after the Delhi showcase to present the residents’ performances and share their processes of work.