Modern and contemporary dance in India have often been obliged to grapple with India’s history with colonialism

In post-colonial times, India has seen a revival of its numerous classical and traditional forms, alongside rich investigations into contemporary practices that question notions of Indian identity today. Notable Indian choreographers have found choreographic strategies to navigate identifications with the past and the present, form and content, traditions and speculations about the future.

It is worth making a comparison between the Indian and Singaporean contexts. Dance in post-independence Singapore has often staked its identity in multiculturalism and a notion of “Asianness”. Mandeep Raikhy unpacks his practice and experience.

   Lecture-Presentation 12 May 10.00-13.00.

Raikhy is a dancer and choreographer based out of New Delhi. He pursued his BA (Hons) in Dance Theatre at Laban in London, and worked with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company for several years. He has created three full-length works, Inhabited Geometry (2010) and a male ant has straight antennae (2013) and Queen-size (2016). He is also the managing director of Gati Dance Forum and artistic director of Ignite Dance Festival.

Raikhy is our second mentor for ELEMENT working under the subject of “Post-Colonial Tactics” he will be working with Artists in Residence Bernice Lee and Chloe Chotrani at Dance Nucleus in May. Together, they will unearth particular responses to questions on post-colonialism in the local context. On the one hand, ownership of one’s traditions is a credible response to reclaim a society’s identity in post-colonial times, not least in advanced urban societies where cultural memories tend to be short. On the other hand, romantic nostalgia and self-exoticisation can be construed as counter-intuitive, whereby instead of reclaiming one’s place in the world, one remains trapped in a (self-)designated position of the Other.

Dance Nucleus invites Raikhy to dialogue with the Singaporean dance community in a Panel Discussion where audiences can also learn about developments in contemporary dance in India.
Lee and Chotrani alongside Raikhy will engage in an open debate around the theme of “Post-Colonial Tactics” in the context of dance. Our panellist will each give a ten-minute statement in response to our critical question, after which the conversation is open to the floor. Dance Nucleus would like to invite the dance community; dance artists, students and researchers to engage in this lively debate.

Panel Discussion 
12 May 14.00-17.00

Attendance is free of charge but requires registration here.