Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nigah in collaboration with the Religare Arts Initiative's year-long project, Art Against AIDS, presents:

An evening of dance and film relating to the themes of gender, sexuality, desire and HIV/AIDS as part of the commemoration of Dec 1 as World AIDS Day.

Friday, December 4th, 2009
from 6:30 — 9 PM

Religare Arts Initiative,
7 Atmaram Mansion, Level 1,
Scindia House, Kasturba Gandhi Marg,
New Delhi - 110001
T: +91 11 43727000/7001


Ruddha (rude, huh?

A solo of “false translations” of traditional kathak compositions, where
bols transform into nonsensical English gossip, where idiosyncratic postmodern movement suddenly shifts into classical kathak. Based on classical kathak compositions learned from Bandana Sen and Anjani Ambegaokar.

Choreography and text: Cynthia Lee
Performance: Cynthia Lee
Duration: 7 minutes

Dasi (displaced)

The basis of the piece is a critical response to an exotified image of "the temple dancer" that the choreographer has had to contend with while performing Indian dance in Europe.
Constructed through chance procedures and drawing on tandava and lasya qualities, the dancer reclaims the power of the gaze.

Sandra Chatterjee
Sandra Chatterjee
Oliver Rajamani
: 6 minutes

Counting the Moons

choreography: Anusha Kedhar & Cynthia Lee
performance: Sandra Chatterjee and Cynthia Lee

original music: Gregory Acker and Robert Levit
duration: 13 minutes

"I wore myself out watching the road.
Counting the moons, I grieved,
Holding back a love I could not hold..."

A North and South Indian classical dancer collaborate to evoke love, loss, and the slippery relationships between self, friend, and lover, in this contemporary abhinaya (emotional expression) piece loosely inspired by a poem by the 17th century Telegu poet, Ksetrayya.

About the Performers:

Cynthia Lee:

Based in Los Angeles and drawing on the aesthetics of western avant-garde performance and classical kathak, Cynthia Lee’s choreography focuses on rigorous intercultural collaboration and developing kathak as a contemporary form. Her work has been deeply influenced by her teachers Simone Forti, Eiko & Koma, Bandana Sen, Kumudini Lakhia, and Anjani Ambegaokar. Cynthia holds an MFA in choreography from UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures and is a member of the Post Natyam Collective.

Sandra Chatterjee:

Based in Munich, Germany, Sandra Chatterjee combines her interests of choreographing, writing, and creating platforms for exchange among emerging creative artists. Her training in Kuchipudi provides a strong basis from which to create contemporary choreography that also draws on her training in Bharatanatyam, Polynesian dance, modern/postmodern dance, and yoga. She holds a PhD in Culture and Performance from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and is a member of the Post Natyam Collective.


Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe (USA, 2007)

Duration: 76 minutes

Writer/Director: James Crump

Sam Wagstaff was a Vanity Fair cover waiting to happen. He was handsome, wealthy, cultivated and connected, not to mention the lover and mentor of the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Both men died of AIDS in the late '80s. Each man was a sexual outlaw, and a sense of outlawry marked their cultural lives no less than their private ones, as seen in James Crump's absorbing 2007 documentary. The narration is delivered in rather hard-bitten tones by writer Joan Juliet Buck. "Black White + Gray" demonstrates a rare degree of intelligence, sophistication and frankness.

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