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 Post subject: Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2002 4:54 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company


Press release

From Random Dance Company’s multimedia transformation in 2000, to Carol Brown’s compelling installation in 2001, Greenwich Dance Agency has earned itself a special place in recent festivals. This year, when GDA and Dance Umbrella present Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, the Borough Hall will be given over to exploring the ‘undoing of location’.
This newly commissioned work will feature one of the company’s long-time dancers joining the performance from a remote stage – literally from a rooftop in Bangalore. Her presence, via a realtime video link, will serve to challenge perceptions of space, time and geographic restrictions.
The mysterious place where time starts at the Greenwich meridian would seem the perfect location for this richly significant new work. Collaborators include Terry Braun and Pete Gomes (projected images), Donnacha Dennehy (composer), Lucy Carter (lighting) and Mavin Khoo (dancer).

"Jeyasingh's style is so wide-ranging that with each new work she seems to re-invent herself" The Guardian

"Shobana Jeyasingh is one of the most gifted choreographers living and working in Britain" Evening Standard

<small>[ 19 February 2003, 08:28 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2002 7:05 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 63
by Donald Hutera

In early August the question was popped to Shobana Jeyasingh. Her reply
betrayed a note of weary bewilderment. “What’s NOT up? This has turned
itself into a monster project.” But beneath the veneer of exhaustion was
more than a glimmer of exhilaration. Jeyasingh is on a hunt
to make maverick technology work for her in a dance context.

“Greenwich started all this,” the London-based choreographer confesses. “It’s the distances that interested me, and the huge, curvy lines in the main hall - like a motorway.” She’s refering to Greenwich Dance Agency, the venue where she’s preparing her newest work for presentation in Umbrella 2002. “It’s a place with incredible potential. You need a huge budget to exploit everything it has to offer.”

Umbrella, Jeyasingh’s own eponymous company, ResCen (the Centre for Research into Creation in the Performing Arts at Middlesex University) and Greenwich Dance Agency have joined forces to realise a project she describes as “a trilogy of events: a live webcast, pre-filmed images and two dancers in real time.” In a reversal of the usual procedure, the audience for [h]Interland will sit onstage facing what Jeyasingh envisions as a multi-layered canvas. The main floor and balcony will be occupied as live performance areas by dancers Mavin Khoo and Sowmya Gopalan, but they will also be used as projection spaces.

The most novel, complicated element of the performance is a live video streaming from India to Britain. In an arty expansion of teleconferencing - “What newscasters use,” Jeyasingh explains - dancer Chitra Srishailan will be beamed into the venue from a rooftop in Bangalore. “I want to transfer her ‘Bangalore-ness’ to Greenwich,” says Jeyasingh. Working with Terry Braun, she’s hit upon the idea of a static camera. “I’m trying to choreograph an arithmetically precise, 45-minute dance script where the dancer edits herself for the camera.” Additionally, she wants to present pre-recorded footage of Banaglore - “not a social document or travelogue, but a series of visual poems” - by Peter Gomes, her collaborator on the recent work Phantasmaton.

“Between the idea and its realisation are so many variables,” Jeyasingh philosophises. “But I felt at the end of that piece that I got exactly what wanted.” With [h]Interland she’s discovering “what we need and seeing how we can do it.
It’s a huge undertaking. It’s juggling the concept of what’s possible while educating one’s self in what’s possible. Just knowing what software to use is a full-time job.” Despite the fact that Bangalore is situated in what Jeyasingh dubs as “the Silicon Valley of India,” she says there’s no model for what she’s trying to accomplish. “There IT and the arts haven’t quite shaken hands yet. The technology is there for business. It’s fine to see people’s heads talk. We’re demanding a lot more. We want the image to move.”

Jeyasingh has entitled [h]Interland with very specific punctuation to
indicate a remnant or hint. She thinks of it as “a facility for
accessing other things. It says something about the geography between
spaces.” The lighting design is by her frequent collaborator, Lucy Carter. Jeyasingh found Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy through research (talking to people, getting
her hands on lots of CDs). The first part of the performance is a piece of his which stipulates that, of the two vocalists he’s using, one has blue hair and the other red. It’s going to be a lively evening.

TICKETS: 020 8293 9741

<small>[ 09-08-2002, 09:06: Message edited by: Donald Hutera ]</small>

This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera and first appeared in Dance Umbrella News.

Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.

Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News.
Call: 020 8741 5881

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 Post subject: Re: Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2002 5:11 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Shobana Jeyasingh
Greenwich Dance Agency, London

Judith Mackrell
Saturday October 26, 2002
The Guardian

Greenwich Dance Agency is not one of London's slickest theatres - its glum, local authority interior suggests that it has hosted more community socials than cutting-edge shows. But Shobana Jeyasinghs new work, [h]interland, not only aims to re-imagine GDA's auditorium but also transport it to an exotic cyberspace.

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 Post subject: Re: Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2002 3:30 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 19
Location: london, england
[h]Interland, is described as a ‘site-specific, installation dance performance’. Even though those trendy idioms conjure up an idea of a postmodern, novel, provocative boundary-crossing, sideways look at the ‘normal’, disciplined structures we have come to accept and expect, somehow it doesn’t quite get to the crux of what is going on in Jeyasingh’s new work, a commission as part of Dance Umbrella 2002. For a start, when you’re watching a site-specific piece of dance, you rather expect to be huddled in one corner of St Pancras station peering up a column to see somebody suspended on an elastic tangoing with a pigeon. You don’t expect to be sitting comfortably in a theatre auditorium. Flippancies aside, the point is that [h]Interland asks big questions about the possibilities of presenting dance, but has confidence in the profound and enduring effect of subtlety on an audience and on a dance form.

[h]Interland involves three live dancers, two live vocalists, a live webcast from a hotel rooftop in Bangalore, a newly commissioned sound score, two screens with a projected film sequence and a complex lighting pattern. The stage, visually, aurally and cerebrally, is full and ‘a-live’. Relationships exist, develop and change between all these elements in each moment, as they share each others’ space and each others’ time. What makes the relationships so intriguing is that each has a distinctive mood, boundary and level of ability to respond spontaneously – inevitably there is a question of control and power at play here.

This is perhaps most explicit in the relationship of the three dancers, two of whom dance in the auditorium and the third of whom dances simultaneously in Bangalore and is projected into the auditorium via a weblink. At times, the figures dance in tandem and offer different perspectives; at times they individually monopolise space and time; at times they share and pass focus like a relay race. At one point, Mavin Khoo and Sowmya Gopolan traverse the balcony, a thin path from left to right directly opposite the tiers of audience seating, higher than most of us. There is no possibility of significant movement forward and back, without falling from the platform. Behind them, Chitra Srishailan moves on a similarly defined pathway from back to front along a level blue strip of rooftop- moving left or right would mean a shift of level. As she moves closer to the camera, of course, her body appears increasingly large. The pathways neatly echo one another, but we are finally confronted with the dwarfed figures of the ‘real’ dancers, moving in front of the giant head of the ‘virtual’ dancer. It is an exciting and provocative moment.

Dancing in front of a stationary web-camera gives the possibility of completely dominating a visual frame and of forcing reconsideration of a space that we automatically and on first glance defined in a particular way. Although they are the same size, sometimes the dancers are made to ‘look big’, sometimes they are made to ‘look small’. Those moments when the ‘real’ dancer leaves the stage space, and the filmed dancer appears in her stage space, the question is raised about the freedom of moving in a box like space. If it doesn’t happen in the defined space, there is the argument that it doesn’t happen at all – but then of course, we are actually the ones trapped within this space, sitting still with our given parametres.

These problems are testament to an enthralling and novel piece of dance performance. Technologically, the effort and success of the piece was astonishing. The ‘site-specific’ ness of this piece is much more interesting than a question of how a certain space might affect movement. It is the enduring and fluid question of how ways of presenting movement might affect our perception of space.

lootie bibby

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