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At the Still Point – ACT III

An Artsforward Presentation

What is ATSP?

At the Still Point is a crowd-funded dance platform curated and produced by Artsforward in Kolkata. It features artists whose work is edgy, dynamic and extraordinary in the way it contributes to current social and political discourse. More than a celebration of dance it is an intervention into the current artist-audience relationship and seeks to make the community a stakeholder in the nurturing and creation of dancers and their practice. ATSP presents an Act every year, we began with Act I Queen Size in 2017 featuring Mandeep Raikhy's Queen Size and continued to Act II Body Sense in 2018 that featured Diya Naidu's Rorschach Touch and Avantika Behl's Say, What? This year we present Act III Strange Times: The times are harsh and challenging. But dance imagines emotional and visceral responses. Narratives of fragility, belonging, conflict and resistance come together on this weekend that we as a community make happen ! At the Still Point, there the Dance is....

At the Still Point is Artsforward's marquee event in Kolkata. Artsforward designs strategic encounters between businesses and artists to create opportunities of nurturing the creative industries and their contribution to the community. As an ideation agency we work to create new and exciting stories for our brands that engage their target audiences in compelling and creative ways. We are a 9- year old outfit and work out of Kolkata and Bangalore. Our major areas of interest are the arts, youth, heritage and environmental sustainability.

Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit is a dance theatre supported by live music. It is inspired by the poem “Strange Fruit” (1937) authored by Abel Meeropol under the pseudonym 'Lewis Allan', as a protest against the lynching of Black people in America. The trail of this history is found alive in the present times and it exists in different forms within people of other cultures and countries. The work also draws its inspiration from the iconic Black choreographer-dancer-anthropologist Pearl Primus' reimagination of the poem in her work Strange Fruit (1943). It questions and depicts the strategic violence inflicted on marginalised bodies. The oppressor and the oppressed reside inside the performers' bodies resulting in a dialectical relationship between the dancers and the characters they portray. The sisterhood is fraught with tension and conflict. Through a text which is completely physical and sound-oriented, the ensemble points at the blind influence of Brahminical fanaticism which has become normalized within the Indian Subcontinent.

Choreographed by​ Satakshi Nandy
Dancers : Priyamm Bose, Sabita Kashyap, Naina Punwani
Musicians : Debarati Sarkar, Agnitray Chakrabarty, Dibyokamal Mitra, Shayan Sinha
Lights : Utsarjana Mutsuddi
Backstage Management : Shibaditya Das Sharma


Strange Intimacies

Strange Intimacies comes from the learning that underneath all the rules, conditioning and sense of appropriateness, human beings often yearn for a freedom and safety born out of being able to be our real and unrestrained selves. Under the codes of conduct we are taught is the subliminal message that the world is not safe. When we are however able to experience intimate moments, kindness and even love with strangers it speaks to the part of us that yearns to believe – the world is a safe place. We feel less lonely and there is a reconnection and anchoring in the oneness of the human tribe. Even in some cases a feeling of belonging in the world. Strange Intimacies is a curated meeting of two strangers in a safe space. It involves sensorial and awareness based participation, casual interaction, elements of ritual and a performative act. To be vulnerable is to allow for intimacy. To allow for intimacy is to trust. When we trust the other, we trust ourselves. We are seen and seeing. We are living the reality – “I am you and you are me.” This is therefore 60 to 90 minutes of time spent one on one with the artist, where both are fragile and open, and somehow in that moment, very brave and curious too.

Concept and execution – Diya Naidu
1st partner – Rahul Gudipudi
Previously supported by – Khoj and Khirkee, New Delhi




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