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PERFORMING PERFORMANCE 2021

Theme- Performance as Research

(2-days annual conference on Performing Art)

Date- 3rd & 4th September, 2021
Time- 10.00 hrs – 18.00 hrs. (IST)

Curated by- Dr. Urmimala Sarkar & Prof. Ananda Lal

The term ‘practice as research’ carves out a territory for arts practice in academic environments, and refers to a broad range of research activity. Practice as research might denote a research process that leads to an arts-related output, an arts project as one element of a research process drawing on a range of methods, or a research process entirely framed as artistic practice.

Research might start or end in arts practice, draw on arts practice as a part of its process, or be wholly integrated into the shifting forms and outputs of an arts project. Practice as research is therefore not a ‘method’ as such.

Arts practices draw on a variety of creative methodologies that might be incorporated into interdisciplinary research projects as methodological innovations, providing new perspectives on and extending existing knowledge as well as materialising a different kind of knowledge practice.

Subthemes- 

1. Creative dialogues between theatre and research: PaR in theatre research
2. Practice as Research: Pedagogical possibilities
3. Writing dance- Dancing research: PaR and dance research
4. Practice as / based/ led Research 

Features

a) Keynote Speaker
b) Invited Scholar Panel
c) Young scholar Forum
d) Performance & Discussion

REGISTER AT - https://pages.razorpay.com/pl_HU1KBBlvEynIRa/view

Meet The Curators

BIO OF PROF. ANANDA LAL 

ANANDA LAL did his Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Illinois, USA, in 1986. He joined as a lecturer at Jadavpur University, from where he retired in 2017 as Professor of English. He designed a practical theatre course there, which culminated in annual public performances. His project to establish in Jadavpur University a Tagore Cultural Complex with four separate theatre spaces won Ministry of Culture funding from the Government of India but has still not materialized. As theatre critic of The Telegraph (1986-2018) and now of The Times of India, he has reviewed more than 3000 productions. His most important books include, in order of publication, Rabindranath Tagore: Three Plays (the first English book exclusively on Tagorean drama), Rasa: The Indian Performing Arts, Shakespeare on the Calcutta Stage, The Oxford Companion to Indian Theatre (the first reference work on this subject in any language), Twist in the Folktale: Three Plays, Theatres of India, and Indian Drama in English: The Beginnings. Among audiovisual media, he scripted and narrated for many screen documentaries and conceptualized the CD The Voice of Rabindranath Tagore. He directed 25 theatre productions and worked on many others, including as dramaturg for Tim Supple's internationally-successful Midsummer Night's Dream.
Dr. Urmimala Sarkar Munsi

Dr. Urmimala Sarkar Munsi is an Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies, at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her specialization is in Dance Studies, Visual Anthropology & Ethnographic research. Her current work is on: Changing landscapes of dance in India, Trafficking, violence against women and designing of survival processes for survivors. Politics of performance: Gender, labour, identities, hierarchies.  Urmimala is currently the President of World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific. She is the co-editor of the peer reviewed open access, online Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship (JEDS). Urmimala was a co-investigator for the recently concluded project “Crisis of Democracy and Cultural Trauma” (2018 – 2019) funded by Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institute and Melon Foundation. Her recent- most book is, “The Moving Space: Women in Dance, Urmimala Sarkar and Aishika Chakraborty (eds.), Primus Books, New Delhi, 2018; Her auto-ethnographical essay “Revisiting “Being Rama”: Playing a God in Changing Times”, co-edited by Paula Richman and Rustom Bharucha, is being published by Oxford University Press, New York.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Anuradha Kapur is a theatre-maker and professor. She taught at the National School of Drama (NSD) for over three decades and was the Director of National School of Drama for six years (2007–2013). She is a founding member of Vivadi, a working group of theatre practitioners, visual artists, film-makers, musicians and writers. She co-curated the theatre section of the Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa in 2016-2017. Her theatre work has travelled widely in India, and abroad She is presently Visiting Professor at Ambedkar University, Delhi. For her work as a theatre director, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award was conferred on her in 2004. Her writings on performance have been widely anthologized and her book, Actors Pilgrims Kings and Gods: the Ramlila at Ramnagar, was published by Seagull Books, Calcutta (1993, 2004)
Dr. Priya Srinivasan is a dancer/ researcher who lives and works in Narrm/Melbourne combining theory and practice to work towards social justice issues through art. Her performances prioritize feminist decolonization processes making visible minority women's histories. Her experimental postcolonial work rooted in South Asian classical dance practice has been presented in major festivals and venues internationally. Her intercultural collaborative work with First Nations artists “Churning Waters” toured India for Australia Fest. She has curated and choreographed several projects in partnership with Hermitage Museum Amsterdam, Berlin Wall Memorial, Rockbund Art Museum Shanghai, Creative Victoria, DFAT, Australian High Commission, MAV, Bunjl Place and Dancehouse. She is co-Artistic director of Sangam: Performing Arts Festival of South Asia and Diaspora, enabling a single platform for classical, contemporary and experimental forms in partnership with MAV and supported by Creative Victoria. She has a Phd in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and has worked as a tenured Associate Professor at University of California, Riverside, Leiden University, Netherlands and at the Alfred Deakin Institute in Melbourne. She is also the award winning author of Sweating Saris: Indian Dance as Transnational Labour. 

Invited Speakers

Writing Dance - Dancing Research: PaR & Dance Research


Dr. Manola-Gayatri Kumarswamy (PhD, JNU)  is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Drama For Life and Dept of Theatre and Performance, Witwatersrand University. She is co-editing CTR’s Special Issue What’s-Queer-about-Queer-Performance-Now? and has been teaching in India and South Africa over the last decade. She convenes the IFTR Performance-as-Research Working Group and is an Honorary Member of the Jung Centre, India. She is currently on an Arts Research Africa-Mellon Grant for a PAR project on ‘the eros and ethics of decolonial artistic research’ encountering whales, kelp, ocean life and access in the Western Cape, South Africa
Sashar Zarif is an internationally renowned performing artist educator and researcher. For the last three decades Zarif has toured across forty countries and has spent his professional life promoting cultural dialogue through intensive fieldwork residencies performances and creative collaborations. His award-winning multi-disciplinary dance projects are steeped in the artistry and history of traditional ritualistic and contemporary dance and music of the Central Asian Middle Eastern and North African regions. Zarif is committed to developing his own practice grounded in a deep mystical connection to dance. His creative approach Living Stories / Moving Memories explores the physical mental and emotional aspects of memory.

Dr. Sohini Chakraborty ,  Ashoka fellow, sociologist, dance activist, and dance movement therapist, is the founder/director of Kolkata Sanved. She is a pioneer of Dance Movement Therapy(DMT) in India and South Asia.  For more than 24 years, Sohini has experimented with DMT as a tool for empowerment, psychosocial rehabilitation and reintegration for vulnerable/marginalized children, young people and adults. Creating a pool of DMT practitioners from the grassroot level and from survivors is her significant contribution in the global DMT approach. The unique and innovative Sampoornata approach was developed by Kolkata Sanved under her leadership. She has received multiple national and international awards for her innovation, leadership, outstanding achievement and inspiration

Moderator

Meghna Bhardwaj is a dancer/dance-scholar, trained in Ballet, Modern, and Contemporary techniques, in Delhi, Berlin, and Israel, Meghna has been a resident at FACETS, Attakalari, Bangalore (2017) Gati Summer Dance Residency, Delhi (2015); Choreolab, Singapore (2015); and American Dance Festival, WDA, China (2014). She has been part of the repertory company at The Danceworx, India, and has danced for the ex-director of Korean National Contemporary Dance Company, Ahn- Aesoon, and Indian choreographer and activist Mandeep Raikhy. She is an awardee of INLAKS scholarship, Mumbai (2017), IFTR Bursary award (2016), MASA need-based scholarship at Dance Journey Program, Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Israel (2014), and several tuition-fee off scholarships from World Dance Alliance in 2011, 2014, and 2015. Meghna has a doctorate from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and is teaching at the Department of Art and Performing Arts, Shiv Nadar University. Currently, Meghna is in a virtual residency at Artefact, Dance Nucleus, Singapore, during which she is building her independent choreographic project titled, 'Yarning'.

Invited Speakers

Practice as Research: Pedagogical Possibilities


Mark Fleishman is the Professor in the Department of Drama at the University of Cape Town and artistic director of Magnet theatre. He has created and directed many performance work for the company that have been performed nationally and internationally over the past 26 years and is involved in development projects in urban townships and rural communities using theatre as a tool for social justice and transformation. His articles have appeared in the South African Theatre Journal, Contemporary Theatre Review and Theatre Research International as well as in numerous edited collections, most recently in Anthony Jackson and Jenny Kidd (eds.) Performing Heritage (Manchester University Press - 2011) and Nicolas Whybrow (ed.) Performing Cities (Palgrave Macmillan – 2014). He is editor of Performing Migrancy and Mobility in Africa: Cape of Flows in the Studies in International Performance series at Palgrave (2016). He was a visiting scholar on the MAIPR programme at Warwick between 2009 and 2012, and is an active member of the Performance as Research Working Group of the IFTR, and was co-convener from 2009-2013.


Dr. Urmimala Sarkar Munsi is an Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies, at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her specialization is in Dance Studies, Visual Anthropology & Ethnographic research. Her current work is on: Changing landscapes of dance in India, Trafficking, violence against women and designing of survival processes for survivors. Politics of performance: Gender, labour, identities, hierarchies.  Urmimala is currently the President of World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific. She is the co-editor of the peer reviewed open access, online Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship (JEDS). Urmimala was a co-investigator for the recently concluded project “Crisis of Democracy and Cultural Trauma” (2018 – 2019) funded by Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institute and Melon Foundation. Her recent- most book is, “The Moving Space: Women in Dance, Urmimala Sarkar and Aishika Chakraborty (eds.), Primus Books, New Delhi, 2018; Her auto-ethnographical essay “Revisiting “Being Rama”: Playing a God in Changing Times”, co-edited by Paula Richman and Rustom Bharucha, is being published by Oxford University Press, New York.

Invited Speakers

Performance as Research: Field Work

Prof. Sreemati Mukherjeeis Professor in the Department of Performing Arts at Presidency University, Kolkata.  She was Fulbright Visiting Lecturer Fellow to the Department of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University in the Fall of 2011.  Her most recent book published by Hawakal in April, 2021, is The Many Dialogues of the Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita which looks at this iconic text from the point of view of Bakhtin’s narrative  aesthetics in The Dialogic Imagination.  Other recent publications include “The Theory and the Practice of the Performing Arts in Ancient India” in  History of Ancient India. Vol. VIII, published by Vivekananda International Foundation and Aryan books International (2020).Sreemati Mukherjee has translated Alokeranjan Dasgupta’s Alo Aro Alo as Light, and yet, more Light (Abhijan, 2019) and Rabindranath Tagore’s Bhagini Nivedita (Sutradhar, 2016). In addition to three other books, she has several articles on Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, Simone Schwarz-Bart, Mahasweta Devi, Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, Sadat Hasan Manto and V.S. Naipaul, published in prestigious volumes brought out by Routledge (India), Amsterdam University Press, Pencraft International, Litteraria Pragensia, Oxford Journals, JSL, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences and Jadavpur University Press. Sreemati Mukherjee is a trained Rabindrasangeet singer and also makes documentaries.
Dr. Abhishek Bose is a PhD in Comparative Literature and teaches in the Department of Comparative Indian Language and Literature at the University of Calcutta. His research interests include, among other things, aesthetics and literary theory, performance studies and Bhakti. He is associated with the theatre group Noutonki Kolkata as a playwright, director and performer. As a practitioner-researcher, he loves to look at, engage and create a dialogue with various genres of performance. Besides publishing and presenting his work to audiences within India and abroad, he is also leading a few research projects.
Prof. Ananda Lal did his Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Illinois, USA, in 1986. He joined as a lecturer at Jadavpur University, from where he retired in 2017 as Professor of English. He designed a practical theatre course there, which culminated in annual public performances. His project to establish in Jadavpur University a Tagore Cultural Complex with four separate theatre spaces won Ministry of Culture funding from the Government of India but has still not materialized. As theatre critic of The Telegraph (1986-2018) and now of The Times of India, he has reviewed more than 3000 productions. His most important books include, in order of publication, Rabindranath Tagore: Three Plays (the first English book exclusively on Tagorean drama), Rasa: The Indian Performing Arts, Shakespeare on the Calcutta Stage, The Oxford Companion to Indian Theatre (the first reference work on this subject in any language), Twist in the Folktale: Three Plays, Theatres of India, and Indian Drama in English: The Beginnings. Among audiovisual media, he scripted and narrated for many screen documentaries and conceptualized the CD The Voice of Rabindranath Tagore. He directed 25 theatre productions and worked on many others, including as dramaturg for Tim Supple's internationally-successful Midsummer Night's Dream.

Invited Speakers

Creative Dialogues between theatre and research: PaR in theatre research

Prof. Ari Sitas  is a South African sociologist, writer, dramatist and civic activist. He has been a professor at the Universities of KwaZulu Natal and Cape Town and has published extensively in the social sciences but is also a prolifically published poet and playwright. He became a pivotal intellectual in the anti-apartheid struggle and worked actively with trade unions and community organisations and was key to the explosion of cultural movements and organisations in the late Apartheid period and was one of the most important leaders in negotiations leading to a transitional cultural dispensation. He has been collaborating with academics, musicians and theatrepersons in India since the early 1990s and his work has been published in India, including the Oratorio on Small Things that Fall Like. Screw in the Night which has been performed as a theatre production, Dark Things, directed by Anuradha Kapur and Deepan Sivaraman, in collaboration with Ambedkar University Delhi.
Prof. Sumangala Damodaran is a Professor of Economics, Development Studies and Popular Music Studies at Ambedkar University Delhi. As a development economist, her research and publications fall broadly within the rubric of Industrial and Labour studies and more specifically on Industrial Organisation, Global Value Chains, the Informal Sector, Labour and Migration. Apart from her academic involvements as an economist and social scientist, she is also a singer and composer. Her archiving and documentation of the musical tradition of the Indian People’s Theatre Association from the 1940s and 1950s has resulted in a book titled "The Radical Impulse: Music in the Tradition of the IPTA"  and  an album titled ‘Songs of Protest’ and  she has performed from the documented repertoire extensively in different parts of the country and abroad.  She is currently engaged in researching the relationship between music and migration, particularly of women in slavery and servitude across centuries and across vast tracts of the globe that were linked through long distance trade in commodities and symbolic goods. This work is being done in collaboration with several universities in Africa and Asia.

Moderator


Kaustubh Naik is a writer, playwright and doctoral scholar in South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His plays, Avyahat (2018) and Bhawaal (2020), have opened to critical appreciation in India. He previously has completed his MA in Performance Studies from Ambedkar Unviersity Delhi and an MPhil in Theatre Performance Studies from the School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU. In his research, he has examined popular performance cultures of Goa as sites of identity formations. He currently oversees the 71 year old theatre company founded by his grandfather, Vishwanath Naik in Goa, India. He has been part of productions that have performed at various prestigious theatre festivals including the Wuzhen Theatre Festival in China, the International Theatre Festival of Kerala, the Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa, and META and Bharat Rang Mahotsav in New Delhi. He was recently awarded the Tendulkar Dubey fellowship, given to young and promising theatre-makers in India. He is currently based in Philadelphia, USA.

Early Bird registration- till 25th August, 2021, 11.59hrs (IST)

Conference Dates - 3rd & 4th September, 2021
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Programme Schedule