For research into the history of contemporary dance in Bengal, through the journeys of feminist dancer-choreographers Manjusri Chaki Sircar and Ranjabati Sircar. Focusing on the social, political and personal histories of the dancers, the study will explore their interventions in the practice as they drew from medieval inheritances, colonial legacies and postcolonial promises to create new languages for dance. The outcome of this project will be a monograph.
For research into the aesthetic theory in the Anoirol, an ancient Meitei text on the art of movements, abandoned in the mainstream discourse of the performing arts. The study will explore various aspects and beliefs on past and future life associated with ecological preservation and its deep-rooted animism as prescribed in the text. The enquiry will emphasise the critical need to read Manipuri dance by the principles of discourses in its own indigenous context rather than homogenising it through the prism of foreign texts like the Natyashastra. The outcome of this project will be a monograph.
For research on one of the kshetra kalas – the Poothan Thira, a ritual and performance based art form of the Mannan community in North Kerala. Using an auto-ethnographic approach, the researcher will create biographies of ten objects deemed significant to the art form, gleaned from conversations with ten community members. The outcome of this project will be a photo-essay and a digital online exhibition.
For research to study the construction of identity by representation through photographic images. The project will focus on the photographs of the Konyak Nagas by ethnologist Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf, that is responsible for creating the archetypal Naga stereotype. The outcome of this research will be an exhibition.
For examining the ways in which modern forms of storytelling such as animation and the graphic novel and their traditional counterparts in the folk and tribal arts, are turning to each other for new modes of expressions, subjects, and audiences to expand their practices. The researcher will focus on the works of the Chitrakar community of Medinipur, West Bengal and the Pradhan Gonds of Madhya Pradesh; and also study recent collaborations between graphic novelists and folk artists. The outcome of this project will be a monograph.
For examining the differences between the performances of prasangas in Yakshagana that are presented in shorter durations and those that continue through the night. The project will study how this variation in time affects pedagogy, the training of Bhagavatas and actors, and the conceptual and aesthetic concerns of the form as it is performed and viewed. The outcome of this project will be a monograph.
For research on press photography as an emerging artistic practice in Kashmir. He will work with a remarkable generation of contemporary photojournalists, in an excavation of this cultural phenomenon, as it chronicles twenty-five years of endemic conflict in the valley.
For the creation of a performance that explores the functioning body as contraposed to the performative and productive body. Primarily through the act of jumping, the project seeks to understand and engage with the body outside the frameworks of the performative, competitive, virtuosic or aesthetic. The performance will be created by a team of ten people from diverse backgrounds in the arts, fitness and sports.
For the installation of a structure similar to an old-fashioned telephone booth under the Yeshwantpur flyover that will function as a story-telling machine, which recaptures a rapidly transforming Malleswaram, through recorded interviews of its residents.
For the creation of a performance inspired by the life and works of theatre legend B V Karanth that will take place at Karanth’s house in Girinagar, where he spent the last years of his life. There will also be two other smaller performances as preludes to the final one.