Preethi Athreya [Chennai, IND]
Conditions of Carriage – The Jumping Project | 45 min
DELHI OddBird Theatre, Dhanmill Compound, 100ft. Road, Chattarpur, New Delhi- 110074 Sunday, 16 October 2016, 7.30 pm, Donor Pass INR 300
JAIPUR Madhyavarti (Open Air Theatre), Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jhalana Doongri, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Wednesday, 19 October 2016, 8pm followed by a Q&A with the choreographer, Free entry
In the space of a square pit, a group of people negotiate the force of gravity within their bodies. The cavity of the pit resonates with the impact of bodies hurtling in and springing out. The stability of the square is challenged by an ever-moving central axis around which spirals of running bodies accumulate. The centre gives way to dispersion, chaos, reorder. Time becomes a marker pulling bodies into orbit. In relation to one another, individualities surface, giving way to a new sense of the body in the space.
‘The origins of this project go back to my obsession with the functional body in contrast to the performative body. Jumping as a physicality is common to other bodily disciplines such as sport and martial arts, where the decorative element is stripped off to reveal a pure mechanics of the body. As actions, jumping and running affect the energy of the environment. You have only to make two people jump together to notice that they eventually fall into the rhythm and timing of one or the other. This quality of physical affect is something that I found profoundly moving – reminiscent of planets and their orbits.
Working out of SPACES, Chennai, in an open square pit, the idea of space as a changing entity became a preoccupation. Jumping activates the vertical axis. Patterns of jumping and running collide with the angularity of the space, often pouring out of the pit and sliding back in, creating levels through the terrain and the action. Bodies are at once powerful and vulnerable as they navigate their exhaustion. The visually dominant square invites a challenge to displace the idea of borders and limitations. Of seeing and being seen’.
– Preethi Athreya
A Chennai-based contemporary dancer, Preethi Athreya trained in Bharatanatyam and later went on to do a postgraduate degree in Dance Studies (Laban Centre, London, 2001). Working within the Indian contemporary dance scene as a performer, choreographer and facilitator, Preethi’s approach is marked by a constant dialogue with form and possibilities of reframing content. Preethi is one of the co-founders of Basement 21, a practice-based performance collective in Chennai.
Her creations are ‘Kamakshi’ (2003) ‘Inhabit’ (2006), ‘Porcelain’ (2007) ‘Pillar to Post’ (2007), ‘Sweet Sorrow’ (2010), ‘Light Doesn’t Have Arms to Carry Us’ (2013), ‘Anki Bunki Kata’ (2013), ‘Across, Not Over’ (2014), ‘Conditions of Carriage – The Jumping Project’ (2015). Co-produced by the India Foundation for the Arts (Bangalore, India), Prakriti Foundation (Chennai, India) and the Alliance Francaise of Madras, Preethi’s works have been invited to leading festivals in India such as Attakkalari, IGNITE! and the National School of Drama, as well as internationally at Szene Salzburg, Impulstanz – Vienna International Festival, Jogjakarta International Street Art Festival, Singapore International Festival of Arts and JOMBA festival of contemporary dance, Durban, South Africa.
Preethi’s review of Belgian choreographer Michel Laub’s work, Total Masala Slammer, was published in the Dance Research Journal, New York, in 2004.
Cast + Credits
Performance: Devika S., Dipna Daryanani, Maithily Bhupatkar, Nidhi Misra, Prabu Mani, Pravin Kannanur, Preethi Athreya, Sekher Narayanan, Sruti Sriram, Vasanth Selvam
Concept/Choreography: Preethi Athreya
Training: Prabhakaran (Chennai Boxing Federation), Prabu Mani (Chennai Parkour Circle), Preethi Athreya
Music: Paul Jacob
Scenography: Hans Kaushik
Lighting: Pravin Kannanur, Bhaskar
Co-Production: India Foundation for the Arts, Alliance Francaise of Madras, SPACES.
Thanks to Sadanand Menon, SPACES and Kalakshetra Foundation