Monday, 18 January 2010

Dancing and other Dilemmas

Well things have been a bit frenetic in Bangalore of late. Last week I finally found out the date of the performance of my choreographies: next Sunday the 24th at the Alliance Française of Bangalore. I’d blithely assumed that my pieces would be part of some sort of evening shared with other artists. I assumed wrong. I once had a very good teacher called Mister Brown who taught us that if you assume, you make an ass/u/me (ass of you and me). What a shame I wasn’t a better student.

In fact, next Sunday is an all-Lucy-work-event. I appear to have hitched a lift onto a festival called “Bonjour India” which the French Embassy is sponsoring in various parts of India over a few months. A couple of nights ago, I was at an extremely lovely venue called the Ranga Shankara to see one of the Bonjour India events, a collaboration between a French sound artist, a French graffiti artist (who was painting with light – really great) and some Indian Bharatanatyam and Tamil folk dancers. It was a very enjoyable, very artsy evening, complete with buffet reception. I drew in a rather large breath as my next Sunday event was announced in the pre-performance welcome to the packed house (my name mispronounced, of course, but that only adds to the authenticity). Things being what they are, I’m not expecting many of that audience to turn up, and in fact think we will struggle to get a decent number of bums on seats, but it made it suddenly very real. Apparently I am in Indo-French collaboration, which is nice to know.

So next Sunday, I will be performing my solo, which is called La Blanche, and the group piece I have been working on with local dancers, called The Spaces Between. Thankfully that is going to be billed as the culmination of a few weeks of investigation (which it is) rather than an all-bells-and-whistles finished œuvre. Following that, there will be a discussion. I think it will take the form of a question & answer session, where I will be asked questions leading to an explanation of the history and forms of improvisation (eek!) and then questions will open to the floor. So I will be rather busy that evening.

Here is the blurb I wrote for the promotion which will go out in the next couple of days:

La Blanche is an autobiographical solo in the form of a scripted improvisation. It was researched in London at Pineapple Dance Studios and completed at the Alliance Française in Bangalore. La Blanche explores distance, colour and not fitting.

The Spaces Between features local Bangalore dancers.

The self is the dancer.
The inner self is the stage.
The senses are the spectators.
[Shiva Sutras, 3-9 – 3-11]

Through touch the dancers investigate nuances of intimacy. What happens in the space between me and we? Do we lose ourselves in closeness with others? And what remains of the self in the end?

I’m not sure the blurb is entirely coherent, and actually the Shiva Sutras part is more connected to the sort of movement material I’ve been working with while “the spaces between” part is more connected to the idea of unmesha which crops up in Kashmir Shaivism – which I’m not even going to attempt to explain while my head is so scattered. I’ll be posting some information about the process onto this blog in the next few days, and hopefully that will shed light on the dark places for anyone who is curious. These ideas are still embryonic, and I don’t pretend to have fully realised them – more to have started asking questions.

So if you or anyone you know is in Bangalore on Sunday, 24th January, please send them to the Alliance Française. It will be nice to have as many friendly faces as possible, and most importantly, it’s FREE!

Here are a few of us in rehearsal yesterday, taking a short break:

Other than that, I was still teaching at Attakkalari until this week: mainly contact improvisation but also pedagogy (or rather more cogently, “tools for teaching”). I really enjoyed the students there and we finished our 3 weeks together with a rather lovely jam in the class on Friday.

It also seems that I am to be in the movies – more specifically, a Cannada (the language of Karnataka, this state of India) movie. One of my friends from the dance and choreography lab I took part in here in 2002 is choreographing for some sort of romantic comedy (I think) and apart from the main actors, they want a couple of contemporary dancers doing their thing. It’s slightly amusing to watch my Kalari-master friend Sagar attempting to convey his utterly non-pedestrian movement to six actors with no real contemporary dance training. I have been laughing a lot, have had very sore legs and am quite expecting to end up on the cutting room floor somewhere. Meanwhile, I am enjoying myself, if rather busy.

So please think good thoughts for me in this last week before the opening of my pieces. I’ll post more information in a few days.

Sending love and calm to you all,
Lucy x


  1. Hey Lucy,

    Great to hear about your performance this Sunday. All the best! Will be there!
    P.S: I attended a workshop session along with you at AFB a while back on martial arts techniques, not sure if you remember. Ciao!

  2. Je penserais a toi dimanche, ça fait un peu loin pour venir.
    <> comme ils disent chez vous.
    Je t'embrasse

  3. tu peux m'expliquer tout le merdier qu'il faut faire pur éditer un commentaire
    papa xxx

  4. Good luck on your performance this coming Sunday! I'm sure you'll do great!