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Citations – Navigating the quirks of daily life

Dayita Nereyeth and Poorna Swami from Bengaluru through their contemporary dance ‘Citations: Three Dances’ navigate the quirky and the overlooked, the exuberant and the meditative. Each of the three unique pieces reveals different surfaces and edges of bodies creating structures when nobody is watching, or when everybody is. NT BUZZ gets curious about their upcoming performances in Goa
Danuska Da Gama I NT BUZZ
‘Citations: Three Dances’, a dance performance by Dayita Nereyeth and Poorna Swami will be held at The Village Studio, Parra on Thursday, March 15 at 7.30 p.m. and at Gallery Gitanjali on Friday, March 16 at 6 p.m.Dayita Nereyeth is a dancer and editor. She has danced professionally with the Yana Lewis Dance Company and Les Ballets Nomades et Sonores. Talking to NT BUZZ about ‘Citations: Three Dances’ that has two solo performances and one duet, Dayita tells us that the idea of the show came about as the two performers have been friends since their schooling days, and studying in the same college, wanted to work together. Poorna Swami is a dancer, choreographer, and writer. She has performed her choreography in and around New York City. Swami has served as India Editor-at-large of the international online literary journal, Asymptote and her writing has featured in publications such as The Caravan, Open Magazine, The Wire, The Hindu BLink, Words Without Borders, Indiana Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Prelude.
About contemporary dance, Poorna tells us that it is dance that is made of the contemporary… of the now. “Things we are concerned with, conversation we are engaging in, aesthetics being exchanged everyday; I think there’s something immediate about contemporary dance,” she says.Exploring a range of themes – from the daily wait on a local commute, to a love letter and a city constructing itself, the contemporary dance expressed through body movement navigates the seen and the overlooked, the exuberant and the meditative.Talking about contemporary dance and other forms Poorna doesn’t agree with the notion that it is better than mainstream, or commercial work. She says: “People still continue to make commercial dance work and it’s very interesting too. I certainly don’t feel that contemporary dance form is better, but what I do feel is that contemporary as a word has to do with time… the time we are living in and as a form it is responsive through the world around us and that is what makes it draw our attention to and is interesting. It’s not talking of the past and dealing with aspects of our present.”
“We happened to go to the same Mount Holyoke College in New York to study dance and came back to Bengaluru and wanted to work together. We decided we would make a duet,” Dayita says before adding that though they had come back to the same place they lived in, a lot had changed. Dayita has worked in all aspects of stagecraft at the American Dance Festival and Dixon Place (NYC).The first piece, Cartography has choreography, performance, and text by Poorna and original sound composition by Marcel Zaes. It is a solo performance and is an offering of a poem through movement. Here she will speak and move at the same time during the entire length of the piece. It is a movement-ode, an intimate implosion between word and body. The second is a series of love letters based on original poems; it emerges from the formal romance of Bharatanatyam that collides with more idiosyncratic lexicons to become a disputed map of lust and lament. Cartography premiered at the 2016 La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival in New York City. [NT]

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