Preeti Sunderajan

New Performance

Grant Period: Over five months

The Shiri Dance Company, a group of contemporary dancers based in Bangalore, has been working since 2004 with a vision to “hone their skills in creating progressive and innovative pieces”. Two years back the group began work on Dance and the City and developed three sections (Working Morning, Traffic, Life in the Cubicle), which were performed as a work-in-progress at the Alliance Francaise in August 2007.

However, the group felt dissatisfied with the limited scope of the original work. They felt the need to dwell on something more meaningful and relevant to the way people lived in the city today. This grant supports the group to undertake research on people, their lives and their experiences in the city, and to develop a new dance work based on what the research reveals.

The artistic director of the Shiri Dance Company, Preeti Sunderajan, and dancers Ashwini Shridhar, Anitha Santhanam and Abhilash Ninjappa will begin by articulating and sharing their different backgrounds and personal experiences of the city. These differences will prompt each to explore the city in their unique way—influencing the particular people they will interview, and the spaces they will visit. They will also undertake photo and video documentation.

The researchers will meet frequently to share the interviews and compile their inputs and ideas for images and stories. They will examine the commonalties and differences emerging from their individual research efforts, and select certain persons/situations for further study. This project also involves action research: alongside the primary work of documenting and interviewing, the group will be experimenting with movement ideas based on the information and inputs provided by each dancer, and eventually create a narrative line or multiple narratives that will provide the organizing principle for the proposed production.