Intercultural Lab is targeted at artists who have applied for Critical Path’s responsive research residency in the last couple of years and are interested in investigating, exploring and questioning the relationships between different cultural dance forms. It will support new as well as deepening existing collaborations which are creating and challenging approaches to ‘intercultural’ dance and choreographic practices as a whole.
The core of the week-long lab will be 6 artists (working in pairs) examining their personal practices through an exchange of ideas. These 6 artists will also have time to interact with each other over lunches and sharings. Three guest choreographers will each direct a micro-session, offering their own perspectives and questions into the mix. Raghav Handa, as facilitator, will move among the groups acting as sounding board for the participants.
Vicki Van Hout
Adam Warburton and Elle Evangelista
Adam and Elle are interested in exploring their shared connection to Burma and hope to explore what being part Burmese means to them. Both have two very different experiences of their Burmese histories and heritage, whilst growing up in Australia. They look forward to seeing how the investigation inspires movement and it being a process that brings more knowledge of their own pasts and more knowledge to all about Burma.
Anandavalli Sivanathan and Vicki Van Hout
In would be interesting to explore and experiment the emergence of a movement vocabulary that has an input that is drawn out of our very own dance practices. Anandavalli’s own practice is based on the classical Indian dance styles is steeped in tradition, but choreographing initially for herself, her students and then the company dancers, means your vocabulary evolves and starts to grow a distinctive style that is singularly your own. Vicki’s dance practice is also born of an ancient culture and Anandavalli feel she has travelled a similar path in her journey as dancer, teacher, choreographer and mentor and is at that juncture where she has created a dance practice/vocabulary that is uniquely her own. When two mature artists bring a melting pot of cultures that has a unique stamp of their individual identities and distinctive choreographic practices into a singular space, then that in itself creates a situation of discovery. It is these parallels in our dance practices and careers that I would like to draw on and explore- both in conversation and in the studio.
Alejandro Rolandi and Nick Power
Looking at the similarities and differences between b*boying and contact improvisation. Is it possible to find a fusion within these styles? Can old dogs learn new tricks? For this research, Nick and Alejandro will aim at distilling, once again, what is fundamental to each artist’s particular dance form and seek to adapt the overlapping characteristics to their ever-transforming bodies by the process of ageing.
Raghav Handa is an Australian choreographer and performer of Indian heritage with training in modern and Indigenous contemporary dance. As a choreographer, Raghav’s dance language explores the circular movement patterns of traditional Kathak accentuated by an overlay of speed and precision. Raghav’s first full-length work, Tukre’, which explored the influence of lineage, premiered at Melbourne Next Wave 2014, and later travelled to Brisbane and Sydney, receiving strong critical acclaim. In 2016, his second work, Mens Rea: The Shifter’s Intent, explored the concept of shape-shifting using 3D motion technology. Set against the Hindu epic Ramayana, it drew on stories shared by Aboriginal elders and had seasons in Cairns, Brisbane and London. Silent Trio Beats, Raghav’s first ensemble piece, is under development and will premier in 2018.
Adam Warburton is a dancer, choreographer and performance maker that uses his background in different street dance forms and his interests in somatics, Burmese culture, vocalisation and lighting to create interesting performance works that engage with audiences in different ways. He enjoys working with ideas about identity, connection and blurring the boundary that exists in dance between the audience and the performer. Adam has created works for On the Cusp at Bondi Beach Pavillion Theatre, Squiggle Space Paddington and Music meets dance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He has also performed in other works including Xavier Le Roy’s Temporary Title (Carriageworks, 2015) and Nicola Conibere’s Assembly as part of Sydney’s Biennale (Critical Path, 2016).
Elle Evangelista is an emerging dance artist at the beginning of what she hopes is a lifelong career in the arts. With a degree from UWA she then completed her formal dance training at WAAPA and attributes her learning prior and post this as equally valid and valuable. She has worked for and performed at large and small venues, festivals, organisations of all sizes, independent artists and visual artists locally, regionally, interstate and internationally. Away from the stage and studio Elle has experience as a dance writer, producer, promoter and really enjoys knitting. Some of her most precious memories are travelling through Burma with her grandparents.
Anandavalli Sivanathan is an internationally-renowned dancer, choreographer and teacher of the Indian classical dance styles Bharatha Natyam and Kuchipudi, with a career in the arts spanning over 45 years, and has been privileged to train and be mentored by some of the most renowned dance gurus. She has toured extensively both nationally and internationally. Anandavalli founded the Lingalayam Danace Academy in 1987 and Dance Company in 1996. She has received numerous awards including Australian Citizenship on stage, Fellowship by the Dance Board of the Australia Council for the Arts and the title of “Kala Seva Bharathi” from the Bharat Kalachar institution in Chennai, India. Anandavalli continues exploring new directions and developments collaborating with some of the finest national and international artists including.
Vicki van Hout is a Wiradjuri woman and independent choreographer, performance‐maker and teacher. She has worked across a range of performance mediums nationally and internationally. A graduate of the National Aboriginal Islander Dance College (NAISDA), Vicki has learnt and performed dances from Yirrkala, Turkey and Christmas Creeks, Mornington and Bathurst Islands, as well as Murray, Moa and Saibai Islands in the Torres Strait. Vicki also studied at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York and has danced with companies including Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre and Bangarra Dance Theatre. Vicki was awarded the 2014 NSW Dance Fellowship for established and mid-career artists – the first Indigenous winner of the Fellowship.
Alejandro Rolandi is a Sydney based performance artist, originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He works as dance and physical theatre instructor, choreographer and designer for many well-known Australian companies. Some of them include Legs on the Wall, Sydney Dance Company (PPY), NIDA, Opera Australia and Stalker Theatre. Alejandro has over 20 years of Contact Improvisation practice and teaches nationally and internationally since 2002. He is also an independent director who creates his own works through his physical theatre company Strings Attached. Alejandro has toured nationally and internationally through Asia, Europe and South America.
Nick Power is a Sydney based b*boy and choreographer. He is one of the leading hip hop dance artists in Australia, working professionally for the past 18 years. His dance work has toured throughout Australia, Europe, Asia and Central America. Nick has created two full length independent dance works: Cypher (2014) and Between Tiny Cities (2017). He has worked extensively in regional centres and in the remote Indigenous community of Lajamanu on the Milpirri project (Tracks Dance). Nick is currently the Contemporary Dance Curator at Campbelltown Arts Centre.
Main image and image #1: Vicky van Hout’s Briwyant. Photo credit: Jeff Busby.
Image #2: Elle Evangelista. Photo credit: Felicity Tchorlian.
Image #3: Adam Warburton.
Image #4: Nick Power. Photo credit: Prue Upton.
Image #5: Anandavalli Sivanathan. Photo credit: Heidrun Lowhr.
Image #6: Alejandro Rolandi. Photo credit: Richard Freeman at Sydney Dance Company PPY