Contemporary ART+ Performance, a talk with Anirudh Chari

Dance Bridges had the pleasure to co-present with the British Council Kolkata an interactive session on Contemporary ART + Performance focussed on contemporary artists in the UK led by Kolkata based curator and cultural theorist Anirudh Chari. The talk was followed by a session of improvisation looking at art as a point of departure for inspiration in choreography and performance. It was an enjoyable evening and we are grateful to all those who joined us for this event. 

Read about this wonderful evening with The Telegraph t2. Read the full article online here.

”  ‘Chari gave us great insights into the effect and impact dance had had on some modern/contemporary artists working in different mediums of painting, print, sculpture, photography, among others. I was able to lead dancers in the audience in an improvisation after, looking at the reverse connection, exploring how art can influence dance and choreography in different ways,’ said Vanessa Mirza, director, Dance Bridges Festival. “

Encountering French Artists & the dance & art of Paris & Lyon

An article by Vanessa Maria Mirza, Founder-Director, Dance Bridges Festival, attending the Biennale de la Danse in Lyon and other performances and artist meetings in Paris.

‘It was indeed a great delight for me to be invited as an international delegate for the 18th edition of the Biennale de la danse, Lyon supported by Institut Francais, ONDA and Maison de la Danse. I share here some of the highlights of my visit for a two-week period in Paris and Lyon. It has been a very enriching experience that has not only inspired me personally but also proved very useful in making connections to build future collaborations with Dance Bridges (Kolkata).

The Focus Danse and Biennale de la Danse was one of the best dance platforms/festivals I have seen so far. I appreciated that the performances were curated across a wide range of spaces and theatres and I got to see many different performance venues. It was the first time for me to see many well-known French choreographers like Jerome Bel and Maguy Marin but also I was glad to see work from many young emerging and mid-career artists. Both in Lyon and later in Paris, I was impressed by the broad concept of dance that was reflected in the performances I saw, the use of digital technology, staging and visual elements and also the amazing skills and abilities of the performers.

It was inspiring and intriguing at the same time. Rachid Ouramdance’s work ‘Franchir La nuit’ performed at the Lyon Opera House was really beautiful, especially with the way he choreographed the piece using young dancers. Yoann Bourgeouis’ ‘Histories Naturalles 24 Tentatives, D’Approaches D’Un Point de Suspension’ performed at Musee Guimet, was also stunning in the techniques used and ideas explored, woven within a
tightly knit choreography.

In Paris, I enjoyed very much watching Israel Galvan’s brilliant ‘Gatomaquia’ (a flamenco solo performed in a circus tent and incorporating the Romanian gypsies from the circus into this version of the performance), Circe Plume ‘La Derniere Saison’ (a contemporary French circus in their last season performing with strong dramatic content, live music and exceptionally beautiful sets and lighting) and Maguy Marin’s ‘Cinderella’ performed by the Lyon Opera-Ballet Company (eloquent and fascinating in her interpretation of the story and particularly with the use of masques). I was also able to watch a number of interesting works at the Les Plateaux Festival at Theatre Jean Vilar and at La Briqueterie by mostly emerging artists.

At the Dansathon which I was able to attend on the last day of the Biennale in Lyon, I saw some very exciting presentations. The participants engaged with dance and technology in new ways using augumented and virtual reality to bring dance closer to the wider public. The prize winning project was ‘An Internet Connected Dance Space’ where through a mobile app, dancers at different points of the globe could dance at the same time and share in an experience with the help of digital media. We also saw videos of the simultaneous process that has taken place in London and Liege.While I don’t list all the names and artists here, I was able to watch about 26 different pieces through my visit, and it was absolutely fantastic for me both as an artist and programmer.

Through the weeks that followed both at the Biennale in Lyon and in Paris I was able to talk with many very interesting French and international choreographers and producers. It was lovely to see some artists who have been a part of Dance Bridges and some that we met at Aerowaves.

At the ONDA meetings I had the wonderful opportunity to be introduced to a number of artistic programmers from France and other countries that I was meeting for the very first time. The session I attended in Miribel on ‘Dance in Public Spaces’ was a very useful discussion to learn more about how other festivals and programmers have been working with artists in this area of performance in their own regions, while also getting know about many projects/artists who have interesting creations/research in this area. Later in Paris, I also had the pleasure of visiting the ONDA Office to meet with Regis Plaud to understand more about ONDA’s work with performing arts and also exchange information about Dance Bridges and my own projects in India.

It was a special privilege for me to have visit and tour a few venues for dance creation and performance including Theatre de la Ville, Parc de la Villete, La Briqueterie and Centre National de Danse in Paris. It was exhilarating for me to learn more about how things operate at each of these spaces, but also understand more about the design, concept and planning that went into each of them. I had many interesting conversations on how they engage with
artists and the community.

A favourite part of my time in France as a visual artist and curator was being able to visit many art museums, galleries and exhibitions. I have a strong interest in the Impressionists and so was very glad to see many beautiful Impressionist paintings at the Musée de l’Orangerie and Musee Montmarttan Monet. I also enjoyed the contemporary art collections at Centre Georges Pompidou which is such a fascinating space and I loved the gorgeous views of Paris at sunset. I was able to visit Musee Jacquemarte-Andre with a new exhibition on the Italian painter Caravaggio that was really exquisite and the first of its kind in Paris. I also had special visit to Cite de la musique with a tour by Philippe Bruguière at the Musée de la musique, showing us the rare and beautiful collection of musical instruments. In Lyon I was able to visit of Museum of Art and was so enthralled by their fabulous collection of artwork and art objects.

This trip wouldn’t have been possible without certain individuals taking an interest in the work I do and I would like to thank those who conceived and orchestrated this visit on very short notice. My deep gratitude to Claire Verlet, Alice Brunot & the Institut Francais team, Regis Plaud, Karthika Nair and Thomas Belus among many others for their kind and wonderful support in making this such a rich experience for me. I am truly changed by my time in France, and I know it will have a deep impact on my person and my artistic practice. Merci beaucoup!

Merging music and movement, on the spot with Kyle Scott

We had an inspiring evening with artist Kyle Scott, performing songs from recent albums and EP’s, sharing key moments that inspired his music and artistic journey and talking about his creative process in songwriting and music. Read an excerpt from Kyle’s interview with The Telegraph t2 by Yasmin Turner. Read the full article online here.

“An intimate dance studio at The Doodle Room in Garcia was the location of an exciting collaboration of dance and music between Dance Bridges Festival and American singer songwriter Kyle Scott on September 8. […]

When did you start writing and perfoming music ? Has this been something you’ve only done in Calcutta?

I started singing in my early 20s, playing in small venues around the stat of Indiana, where I’m from, but I’ve travelled back and forth, between the US and India for work on and off for about a decade. Since then, I’ve been plugging in to the music scene here in Calcutta. You kind of have to dig for it, but it’s here.

What influences your music – experiences or artistes?

Moving here has been a big piece of it and has introduced me to an entirely different culture, a beautiful culture. It’s sometimes overwhelming with the noise and the chaos of the city. I come from a farming community in Indiana, so it’s night and day as far as differences go! I love (singer-songwriter) Damien Rice and he’s been a big influence on my music. I like how his music kind of quiets and then takes off, then quiets down again. There’s a lot of emotion in the way that he composes.

So what does the future hold for you? More music?

I’m finishing my work here, with Sari Bari (a non-profit), and I’m heading back to the US at the end of the year but I’m recording a single soon. I’m usually kind if a loner when it comets music but I’m branching out with a band. I’m hoping after what we’re doing in the studio, this will be a kind of springboard to continue doing music in the States. I also want to take an Indian harmonium home, it’s such a cool instrument!”

You can watch a video snippet from the event here.

 

t2’s tryst with MR Twinkletoes — Stefano Fardelli

Artist interview with Stefano Fardelli for The Telegraph t2 by Anannya Sarkar. Read the article online here.

When we met Italian dancer Stefano Fardelli, he had just walked into The Doodle Room in Hazra with the swagger of a fashion model dressed in all black, his affability belying the fact that he had just been fleeced by a local cabbie on a trip to the Victoria Memorial on a scorching May afternoon.

“I really like the colonial buildings in the city and I am very curious to know more, even if I get fleeced a little on the way,” chuckled Stefano, a dancer who has made a name for himself in the contemporary dance sphere and is a guest teacher at The Place, a renowned dance school in London.

With a background in modelling, Stefano’s flair for style is not difficult to place. The contemporary dance style that he teaches — a mix of (Merce) Cunningham technique, floor-work, release technique, physical theatre and Feldenkrais technique — is an amalgamation of his personal experiences assimilated over almost three decades. Stefano, who has been regularly coming to India since 2013 as part of cultural exchanges facilitated by the Italian embassy, was brought to the city by Vanessa Mirza of Dance Bridges Festival for a workshop and that’s where t2 caught up with him.

From modelling to dance, how did you make the switch?

I have been dancing since I was six. But you know how Italy is really famous for its fashion, so my dream was to become a stylist. The dance that I was learning was commercial (jazz and funky) and at one point I decided to take it seriously and started studying ballet at a private school in Genoa. During my first year there, a choreographer selected me for a musical and that’s when I started considering it as an option.

I went to London at 15 and won a modelling competition and then won the Italian leg of another prestigious modelling competition. I then moved to Milan and I am one of the very few people in the world who is certified to teach “catwalk-ing”. But after a year, I auditioned for one of the most prestigious European dance schools for ballet and contemporary dance, where I was selected. After working in Europe for a while, I just sent my CV to The Place in London — it’s one of the most famous dance academies of the world — for teaching there and I was surprised that they called me. Once you’re a guest teacher there, all the other doors open up for you.

How did India happen?

In 2013, I was in India for a holiday  and did the usual trail — Delhi, Rajasthan, Varanasi and Agra. Varanasi during the Kumbh Mela was magic and I fell in love with the city. I created a solo called Svarupa-Vyakta and that piece was really lucky as I won many prizes for that. I have also created a couple of other pieces that were inspired by this country like 98288 and Hugs in Space.

Every year, I come here to understand the country better and rediscover and enjoy. And then I take what I collect during these trips and create something from there and share with people. For example, in Hugs in Space, which will premiere in Luxembourg soon, I have been inspired by the difference in the approach to hugs in Europe and India. Hugs are not that common in India, especially between couples, while it’s quite different in Europe.

If you had to describe your style of dancing, how would you put it?

Contemporary dance is very difficult to explain because we have so many fusions now. In Europe, we say it’s better to enter the army than a dance academy because it’s that strict; this is one way of maintaining the high level we have.

We have to say that all contemporary techniques come from postmodern work in dance and that was mostly happening in America. In Europe we had the evolution of this, which is contemporary. Contemporary is release, it is floor-work and fusions with Tai Chi, yoga and Gaga (a method from Israel).

So what I do and what any contemporary choreographer does depends on their background. My background is Cunningham, floor-work, physical, release and the Feldenkrais technique.

What do you think are the struggles in the realm of contemporary dance in India?

In India, I meet a lot of talented dance students and there is a huge dance community. But unfortunately, you don’t have knowledge of the western techniques. You are really good at the eastern ones but knowledge of the western ones is the key required if you want the doors of the West to open up for you.

In Europe, we don’t give dance scholarships at all as that is our way of ensuring the highest standard. What I try to do when I meet someone really talented is that once a year I send students to Europe for a scholarship because I know that for most of the talented students here, it’s not easy to bear the European costs. I have sent six people so far and this year, I have permission to send 10 people. From their feedback, they’re doing well for themselves, meeting amazing teachers, earning money and they have a real chance of becoming dancers. For me, knowing this is enough because I don’t get much more out of this.

Where do you think the future of contemporary dance is headed?

Contemporary dance is a very personal technique as the choreographer collects the best from all they did in the past. Nowadays, people travel so much all over the world that they are getting inspired all the time and can add new fusion. So the time is great for contemporary dance and you cannot see the end till this fusion continues. There is a new way to do what you already do — therefore it is personal. Contemporary dance is inspired by anything and everything and there is no limit.

You can view the workshop trailer here

Iranian artiste Makan Ashgvari’s experiments with sound and words

Artist interview with Makan Ashgvari for The Telegraph t2 by Anannya Sarkar. Read the full article online here

As an electronic musician, Makan Ashgvari likes to weave his surroundings into his creative work, like the sound of trucks lumbering on the roads of Tehran where he lives. As an artiste, Makan refuses to be compartmentalised, and to help more such independence in the creation of arts, he founded Otaghkar in Tehran as a platform for independent music in 2013. In Calcutta as part of the Dance Bridges Festival, Makan talked about making music in the alternative space, his career trajectory and To Trucks, his latest album, when t2 caught up with him at The Doodle Room on Garcha Road.

Your latest album, To Trucks, makes use of ambient sounds and merges them with electronic progressions. Can you take us through the process? 

Some people can be mad at me because I have distorted and destroyed some Iranian literature by changing the words, changing the orders of the lines of the poems and also mixing them together. So that’s not something you do to the classical Iranian literature as that’s the red line. The sounds I recorded while travelling, I distorted them, cut them, re-recorded them and transformed them. The sounds that I recorded while travelling are called Side A and I call the poems and songs that I borrowed from classical literature and transformed, Side B. So Side A is a geographic journey and Side B is a journey in time and I looked at my album as a tape, like you can play the other side. I hitchhiked a lot in Iran and while travelling I was seeing so many trucks on the road and even when I was back in Tehran — I would say a city so similar to Calcutta — I could also see trucks on the streets there, which was very odd. I thought that these trucks belong to the roads and not the city. The truck drivers treat the truck as a live person — for example, if you offer biscuits to a live person, they will say that the truck will be upset as the truck is like the host.

To the uninitiated, how would you explain what electronic music is?

I would say if you listen to a fluorescent, there is a noise, a sound; if you listen to a lamp, there is a sound. So for me the sound that goes through this process — it could be a nylon guitar, a sitar even, if it’s processed by these cables, it’s going to have this quality of electronic to it. But if you just listen to a singer without any microphone or speakers, that is acoustic music.

If you see MTV Unplugged, it’s a band you know, like Nirvana or Florence and the Machine, and they use acoustic instruments, still that has an electronic side to it as it’s going through amplifiers, cables and speakers. I don’t identify my music as electronic, you know. I think nowadays if you’re not listening to a sitar player in a room without a microphone and speakers, I think that’s the only acoustic music that exists. If it goes through a wire, it’s electronic.

Given that you are based out of Iran, what impact does the state have on your creativity?

It does, for sure. But this is also mostly unconscious. Like the first time I went to Europe, I understood that people don’t look at each other. And that was the first time I understood that in Iran, people look at each other. And, of course, there’s a political angle to it. It’s really various. For example, I sang Ain’t No Grave (most famously sung by Johnny Cash) and I added one verse: “When my mumma had me, There were bombs on Tehran, but now I am here, I am singing this song, I am here safe and sound, There ain’t no grave can hold my body down.” I think this verse fits into that American song and I think that I can have this similarity to an American artiste also. So it’s not only about your geography and your land. It has so many aspects.

Who are some of your influences in music, theatre and dance?

Nina Simone is definitely an influence —her diversity and her personality as someone who cares about what’s going on in the world. Also, Farhad, the Iranian singer. John Cage is an artiste with no limits and whose works I have performed. All my teachers have been great influences too.

Your poetry and lyrics have received praise. What do you set out to express when you write?

I don’t really think of that. A song is my thinking — the way my mind works sometimes. Like when you talk to yourself, you don’t really think of what to say. But of course in the process of editing, things might change. And so many of my songs come to life while improvising with others.

What are some of the struggles and benefits of being an alternative artiste in the 21st century?

The most important benefit is the Internet, which I think by mistake we musicians see as a thread, because sometimes we believe that every single product should be sold directly to the audience. We have to acknowledge the power of the Internet and appreciate it as a tool. The struggle is that of being focused. So many options, tools and facilities can confuse you sometimes.

“I think the audience enjoyed Makan’s innovative sound, visual presentation and the stories behind his creative process. It was on a very short notice that this project came into being” — Vanessa Mirza, director, Dance Bridges Festival

 

You can view the highlights of the artist talk here

Aerowaves & Spotlight USA 2018 (Bulgaria)

March 2018 saw the Dance Bridges team represented by Pierre Palluet and Vanessa Maria Mirza at two international dance platforms in Bulgaria. It was a great honour to be the only Indian Festival participating in both these prestigious international events.

Aerowaves’s annual festival Spring Forward festival was held in Sofia from 23rd-25th March, 2018 in collaboration with Derida Dance Centre. Aerowaves is an international forum representing emerging and exciting new talent in Europe with a partner network of 33 countries and promoting dance artists through cross-border performances. It was an exciting time as our team members met with performing arts professionals from different parts of Europe and interacted with several artists performing at the festival. Amongst these many meetings it was a great pleasure for our team to re-connect with artist Alfredo Miralles ,a part of the Springback Academy for writers. Alfredo was one of the artists who performed at Dance Bridges Festival 2017 in Kolkata.

Dance Bridges is grateful to Aerowaves for this invitation and hopes the connections made can develop into bring more work from Europe to India while building valuable artistic exchanges.

To read more about the event have a look at their website here: http://aerowaves.org/

Spring Forward was followed by 3 days of American dance showcases for Spotlight USA in Plovdiv from 26th-28th March 2018 in collaboration with One Dance Week. The programme had artists performing a wide range of pieces with panel disccussions and feedback sessions weaved into the schedule as well. As a second invitation from American Dance Abroad our team was delighted to meet with so many new artists as well as international programmers. We once again had a reunion with friends and connections from the dance world and thoroughly enjoyed our time in Plovdiv. Indeed we hope to continue to grow and expand our associations with American artists with even greater participation in Dance Bridges events through the years to come.

To read more about American Dance Abroad and their upcoming events, you can visit their website: https://americandanceabroad.org/

Lucas Viallefond of Paris Opera School decodes Modern Dance

We were delighted to present a modern dance workshop with French artist, Lucas Viallefond, a modern dancer and a teacher at the Paris Opera School. http://lucasviallefond.com/en/ The two-hour class was based on the Jooss-Leeder technique, developed by Hans Züllig and Jean Cébron, with contemporary barre work. We had a wonderful response with dancers from different parts of the Calcutta, Howrah and Murshidabad joining us. It was an excellent and inspiring learning experience.

We are grateful to the support by Sparsh Studio for Performing Arts, Alliance Francaise du Bengale and Buoyant Performing Arts in partnering with us for this event.

 

 

Read an artist interview and coverage of the workshop in The Telegraph t2 here.

Lucas Viallefond, a French modern dancer and teacher at the prestigious Paris Opera School, made a quick stop in the city on January 27 to teach a workshop as part of the Dance Bridges Festival. A dancer trained at the Conservatoire de Paris and Folkwang University of the Arts, Lucas has travelled to about 16 countries, teaching and dancing. t2 caught up with Lucas, who specialises in the Jooss-Leeder method, developed by Hans Zullig and Jean Cebron, at Sparsh Studio for Performing Arts…

What is the basic difference between contemporary dance and modern dance?

According to dance timelines, modern dance was created after ballet in the 1990s, as a response against ballet. In ballet, you have to have a perfect body and the perfect lines. People who didn’t have that but wanted to be dancers could not. If ballet dancers sported tight buns, modern dancers went with their hair flowing free and wild. If ballet dancers wore shoes, modern dancers went barefoot. If ballet dancers were in tutus, modern dancers chose to go almost naked. This was the beginning of modern dance. Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham in the US and Mary Wigman in Germany began to create a technique and this is modern dance, as it was really modern for the times. I can speak of contemporary dance in the French context. French people were tired of modern dance and created their version of contemporary dance. The basis of contemporary dance is idea —when you have ideas, you put it to form. It can be anything. It’s impossible to describe French contemporary dance. Each choreographer has a very specific way of moving. It can be someone rolling on the floor for hours or someone just performing striptease with eggs on their head. It’s much more of ideas than the body moving. Modern dance is almost set — when you see a piece by Martha Graham, you know it’s her work. I am more into body than the head, so it’s that kind of a difference for me.

What made you take up dance?

I live in a very small street in Brittany in the west of France where there is nothing. In France, we have a musical day that is celebrated on June 21 every year, the first day of summer for us. There are people going out to make music everywhere. I once drove with my mother to another village where I saw a dance performance by a dance teacher and I saw two guys from my college take part in it. I was 13 and I knew I could do better. But I really took up dance because I needed to express myself as I wasn’t very good at speaking to people. So first, I practised a lot of gymnastics and then I learnt a lot of music. But that wasn’t enough for my body. I had to express more and then I began dancing. My dance teacher forced me to learn ballet; she sent me to Paris and I got into the Conservatoire de Paris, where I learnt for five years. In my third year, I met Pina Bausch and got invited to Germany. I quit the school three years later and started teaching a lot. I came back to France and began dancing for a lot of companies and teaching at the same time. Then I was invited to Taiwan, from where I taught all over Asia. I think you can’t be a very good dancer without teaching. While teaching people, I corrected myself too.

What is the Jooss-Leeder method?
Based on Rudolf Laban’s principle of movement, the precise consciousness of one’s body in space and its dynamics form the basis of this approach. It’s not a technique, but a method. It’s based on the point of view of dance that is based on the science of quality and the science of space. You can divide the space into different points and then you have millions of ways of going about it. I can do direct and indirect movements or put a lot of strength or use light and quick movements, coming from or outside the body. My teaching is based on all these different qualities in specific points of the space. And it’s not a style but a method. I give keys to students on how to use their body and then they do what they want to do with that. So when I teach, I don’t like to choreograph because I don’t want them to dance like me because the point of view of a dancer is in him/her being unique.

What do you think about the future of modern dance?
I think modern dance is always evolving, so it’s nice to see that some people are trying to make it more creative. For me, the most interesting dancers are the ones who dance with feelings. I don’t like to see high legs and many turns. The one who dances with an intention makes the difference between the dancer and the artiste.

Modern dance is fairly less known. How can that be changed?
In order to make people more interested in modern dance, there should be more workshops with good teachers who give a lot in the class and try to help the dancers to be better.

Check out a video interview with the artist here.

Dance Improvisation Jam

We hosted our first Dance Improvisation Jam with young dancers gathering in The Doodle Room and guests artists Devarshi Kar(Percussionist) and Abhishek Banerjee (Visual Artist) adding to the flavour of the evening. It was a special night as creative energy flowed through the room, and sparked new ideas for dance collaborations and projects. Thanks once again to everyone who joined us for this.

Read about the event in the Telegraph t2 here.

Do have a look at some of the event videos on our Facebook page.

Stay tuned for more information on jam sessions in the future.

American Dance Recon (ADR) 2017

Director Vanessa Maria Mirza was invited to attend American Dance Recon (ADR) organised by American Dance Abroad in July 2017. Vanessa wrote for the ADR blog about her experience this summer. ( Read the original article here )

“It was very exciting for our International Artistic & Programming Committee that a representative of Dance Bridges Festival, Kolkata, India was invited to attend American Dance Recon (ADR) 2017. We are a young and edgy festival of international dance focusing on building artistic and cultural exchanges between local and international artists, and have only just completed our second edition.

The conference and week-long event of ADR was only days before Dance Bridges Festival 2017 opened, but the opportunity to watch American dance performances, meet artists and explore new performance venues and arts spaces was too tempting to resist. As the Director of Dance Bridges Festival, I have received a few invitations to global dance platforms in recent years, but this was my first occasion to explore American dance more deeply with a range of different artists and genres within Philadelphia, New York City, the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and other artist residency spaces, studios and venues throughout the Berkshires.

My impressions of American Dance Recon now come as a rush of many different images and moments that deeply impacted me. It was a special experience to be guided through this variety of dance impulses along with a very eclectic group of international artists and programmers from Panama City, Shanghai, Tokyo, Lublin, Budapest, and Vancouver, as well our lovely American Dance Abroad hosts: Andrea Snyder from New York, NY and Carolelinda Dickey and Bonnie Gloris from Pittsburgh, PA.

I really didn’t expect such a wide programming spectrum, and I was grateful for the knowledge I gained through this multi-city exposure to art, culture and dance in America. We saw dance theatre, experimental, musical, contemporary hip hop/break dance, cabaret – some pieces that were pure dance-based choreography, others more theatrical, using text, song, many different props, contemporary ballet, and more.

I was struck by the individuality of artists from different cities and regions of America. I had a certain preconception about what present-day dance performance and choreography might be like in the U.S., and that was definitely expanded and changed. It left me feeling invigorated, and I found it thought-provoking, even if sometimes slightly offended. There are definitely artists and works that, as a programmer, I know would suit my region and Festival more than others. I very much appreciated that American Dance Abroad was not just providing a marketplace for Festivals and venues, but, in fact, something much deeper and richer.

The cultural and artistic appreciation of our journey feels absolutely invaluable, from learning about artist roots and dance company structures in Philadelphia from Joan Myers Brown and Lois Welk, to watching San Francisco-based choreographer Amy Seiwert present her first full-length ballet at the Joyce Theatre, to visiting Stephen Petronio’s beautiful new Crow’s Nest residency space, and seeing Adam Weinert’s interpretation of Ted Shawn’s solos in an abandoned high school in Hudson. Also, looking at blueprints and construction of The Lumberyard – a production-based residency program and space, watching some fabulous dance performances by choreographers like Doug Varone at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, looking through the archives and library with Norton Owen, and seeing young dancers perform on the beautiful open air stage, with the perfect frame of the Bershires all round. Finally, a visit to the MassMoCA museum and an American picnic and fireworks at Tanglewood.

I must thank our hosts once again for a wonderful time with artists of ranging maturity. Each performance was also at a different level of production, with some very young artists coupled with mature and inter-generational artists. I am left excited to build on my connections from this experience, and I certainly hope to strengthen ties with the American artists I have interacted with. Dance Bridges looks forward to developing relationships and being a channel to support liaisons with India.”

–VANESSA MARIA MIRZA, Founder-Director, DANCE BRIDGES FESTIVAL, Kolkata, India

 

Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign: Support our 2017 edition!

“A truly contemporary festival of dance… one of its stature in India! An extremely valuable effort – for opening exchanges of ideas, aesthetic experience, and creative journeys!”

– Dr. Urmimala Sarkar (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

” I have heard of Dance Bridges Festival and its impact on the dance community from my friends in Kolkata. I got to meet Vanessa, the director, last year and I was so impressed by her determination. The passion she shares and her enthusiasm to keep the festival going despite all the hurdles she faces is what sets her apart. It is a great initiative and it needs all the support”

-Meera Krishnan (Prakriti Foundation)

We have recently launched a  crowdfunding campaign  to raise additional funds to help cover technical costs, artist accommodation charges and production expenses. Watch our campaign video here .It would be wonderful to have your support in this endeavour.

We believe in the power of community and the collective creativity of artists working together. We believe that Dance Bridges Festival 2017 will impact many different lives in powerful ways by:

  • Bringing a new platform for international performance to the city of Kolkata
  • Making participation inclusive and accessible to new audiences and people of all socio-economic backgrounds by running events on a non-profit basis
  • Encouraging and empowering young dancers in their pursuit of a professional career
  • Nurturing local and international talent through the residency project, internship training, workshops and opportunities of collaboration
  • Imparting educative and fun experiences for everyone to encounter dance through various mediums and from different perspectives
  • Building long term relationships across cultures to enable ambitious artistic exchanges
  • Enabling the international community to experience the history, culture and creative atmosphere of a city like Kolkata and other places in India

We look forward to your support in making this exciting second edition of the Festival a grand success. We hope you can join us in Kolkata for the event, but even if you can’t, do stay connected with Dance Bridges. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Email your queries to info@dancebridges.in. Thank you!