Somatic Research (in-progress)

Lit (amply or sparsely) by sunlight or an oil lamp, and draped (modestly) in cotton, a dancer in a liquid pond moves and sounds along a spectrum between subtle and spectacle. Conceived as a choreographic conversation with two dancer-makers Chandralekhā (1928-2006) and Bambang ‘Besur’ Suryono (1960-2020), this somatic research draws on the experience and imaginary of Chandra's last dance work which she called ‘Sharira’ (2000), and of Besur's devised practice for movement and voice which he called 'Body Pilgrimage'. Often unfolding as a durational installation-performance at the intersection of dance, sculpture and voice, ‘being’ is an attempt at be(com)ing both these Indogenous nodes in embodiment, and therefore inheriting them a little. The research delves into yogic practices of nāda (sound), āsana (posture), prāṇāyāma (breath) and dhāraṇa (focus); into traditions of Kaḷaripayaṭṭ and Dhrupad; as well as textual scores derived from the Nātyaśāstra, Śilpasātra and Viñāna Bhairava tantra.