India Foundation for the Arts (IFA)
Varnam by Padmini Chettur
December 13 to 18, 2016 | 03:00 PM – 06:00 PM | David Hall
Opposite Parade Ground, Fort Kochi
Join us at the Kochi Biennale for this avantgarde performance, Varnam, by danseuse Padmini Chettur, from December 13 to 18, 2016, at David Hall, Kochi!
Varnam seeks to reinterpret a traditional Bharatanatyam composition called Mohamana. The piece attempts to subvert the male gaze and de-objectify the female dancer’s body, by questioning and critiquing the deeply embedded representations of Indian femininity in performance and in everyday life.
In the centre of a room, on a row of chairs sit six performers. During the three hour duration of this installation, they negotiate the boundaries between being performative or not, moving or not, speaking, listening and in moments 'dancing'. In this re-interpretation of the Mohamaana Varnam, created to be placed within the context of the Kochi Muziris Biennale, the obvious relationship between body and object, the static and dynamic become the mere undertones of this work that sets out to propose the human body as the narrator of life. A body in which memories lie in the spaces between our joints, where emotions lie in the lengths of our muscle. A body that lies straddled between memories of tradition and fantasies of its future.
Padmini is a contemporary dancer. She initially trained in the traditional dance form of Bharatanatyam. Between the years 1991 and 2001 she worked with the choreographer Chandralekha, performing in the productions Lilavati, Prana, Angika, Sri, BhinnaPravaha, Yantra, Mahakaal and Sharira. She now runs her own dance company based in Chennai, called the "Padmini Chettur Dance Company".
Choreography: Padmini Chettur
Music: Maarten Visser
Dancers: Aditi Bheda Sharad, Madhushree Basu, Aarabi Veeraraghavan, Sravanthi Vakkalanka, Ramya Shanmugam, Padmini Chettur
Vocalist (recorded): Brindha Manickavasakan
Padmini received a grant from India Foundation for the Arts under its Arts Practice programme to create this performance piece.