Three cheers!
- Veena Basavarajaiah, Bangalore

August 5, 2011

Radha Kalpa, a Bangalore based dance company presented ‘1/3- an evening of contemporary dance’ on the 15th of July 2011 at the Alliance Francaise de Bangalore.  The  choreographers Nongmeikapam Surjit , Rukmini Vijaykumar and Deepak Kurki Shivaswamy showcased their work that was created in New Delhi at the Gati Summer Dance Residency 2011, over a process period of 10 weeks.

Nongmeikapam Surjit, a contemporary and traditional dancer from Manipur who has studied choreography from Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography begins his solo seated still on a chair with an oscillating lamp hanging over him. He stretches his arm to stare at a small passport-photo sized piece of paper. The scene changes as he positions himself in centre stage pointing his finger towards the audience as it boomerangs towards his chest and sadistically tries to pierce the body. The masochistic nature of torture emerges as he amuses his own body by unbuttoning his shirt to place kisses on different parts of his arms gradually engaging in movement that abuses, as an impetus to move his body. 'One voice' pronounced psychological and physiological impact of torture on those 'inflicting it' and the 'victim.' The entire piece is done in silence with an intelligent light design that alternates between bright light, a blinking tube light and a wavering lamp creating an intentional discomfort to the eyes that are witnessing it. Moving precariously with choreographed falls, breaks, collapses and abruptly breaking into acrobatic leaps, the artist repeatedly surfaces to neutrality during transitions before plunging into the abyss of torture, thus distancing the audience from the piece at many instances.

Rukmini Vijayakumar trained in Bharatanatyam, Modern dance and Ballet, presents her work titled "...."  Her fledgling piece commences with the sound of planes taking off and she moves uncertainly as if driven by an unseeable force. She continues to move to plastered piece of random loops of music and synthesized sounds while the audience is left waiting for the piece to take flight until the end. The artist aimed to explore the movement arising from kinetic initiation; as opposed to a preconceived "emotional state" or "theme." The depth of this idea became latent as a skin-deep narrative of 'the loss of a child' was super-imposed into the piece. The entire piece comes across as a prelude to the beginning of a new and adventurous process.
Deepak Kurki Shivaswamy is a Bangalore based dancer trained at Attakkalari in India with a post-graduate diploma in choreography at S.E.A.D (Austria). His dance creations have been showcased in many venues in India and Europe. 'LVOE,' a misspelt word for love was Shivaswamys' non-romantic solo that evinced the actuality of love. He wears multiple headgears as a literal representation of various religious, social and political icons with movements have a strong allusion to the current affairs of the country. The choreography is inspired by mannerisms of each character as he pretentiously embodies the ideas of love through patriotism, faith, homage, wedlock and more. Though the use of headgears assigns a certain degree of predictability and also a repetitive movement strategy, the solo is a flavorful piece layered with a smirk and syrupy music successfully serving the audience with the reality of cheesy romanticism that is deeply engrained in all of us.

The concluding piece of the evening was an improvised duet 'Action-Reaction' performed by Rukmini Vijaykumar and Deepak Shivaswamy. While the preceding solo spoke of Love and its diabetic effect on people, the duet simply forced the audience to a candy piece of work. The performance amplified each individual’s talent and the solos drew our attention to a very promising and talented set of solo performers of the country.

Veena Basavarajaiah is a Bangalore based solo dancer and choreographer who is trained in Bharatanatyam, Kalaripayattu, Ballet and Contemporary dance. She has worked with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, Angika Dance Company, Attakkalari, Kalari Academy, Gati Forum, Nritarutya, Natyantharanga & Yana Lewis Dance Co. She has performed on various platforms across India, UK and Europe. She is the recipient of Special Mention Young Achievers Award in 2007 and also a paneled artist of the Indian council for Cultural relations.