Unique in that it is a dance ‘conference’ designed by artists, Joining the Dots privileges the voice of the practitioner, with various engagement formats that coalesce around the binding theme of ‘process’. Through conversations, work demonstrations, clinics, lectures and other formats, we attempt to discover and somehow experience the evolution from the points ‘before’ to those ‘after’ the watershed. It is hoped that this investigation of the processes and philosophies of making dance work – albeit through a representative selection of examples – will help to map the critical work that has shaped the present and will shape the future of dance work in India, and discover connections and parallels in vastly differing experiences across form, genre or region of work. Conversations along these lines could then be the starting point for an inclusive network of people deeply invested in dance in India and its future possibilities.
How do practitioners of dance pinpoint and articulate the watershed moments in their individual journeys? Are they specific experiences that drastically alter perspective, or are they a gradual and organic evolution of thought and methodology? Are they points of violence? Rejection? Discomfort? Anger? Loss? What questions, contentions and propositions about dance practice and discourse are individuals led to explore and articulate as a result of these landmark moments? What new areas are they (and dance) propelled into? How does one locate these moments in the particularities of vastly different dance contexts in a country like India? How many of these trajectories have then become individual or collective bodies of work that inspire both recognisably connected and apparently unrelated directions in dance?
Joining the Dots: Points of Shift, Pause, Discontinuity or Rupture is a conference that works towards mapping the idea of the ‘contemporary’ in dance by investigating the multiple processes of making dance work in our times. By locating and situating moments of shift, pause, discontinuity and rupture in the artistic process, it seeks to connect with dance practitioners and professionals across boundaries of form, genre or region of work. It proposes a series of deep engagements with individual dance makers who have very perceptibly forged a distinct identity for themselves both within and in contrast to the contexts they work in.