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Here's what you should watch at Attakkalari India Biennial

The ten-day extravaganza will have 200 artistes from 20 countries performing

Indulekha Aravind  |  Bengaluru 

Attakkalari India Biennial, billed as South Asia’s largest contemporary dance festival, begins on Friday in Bengaluru. From a 3-day festival in 2000 with local artistes to a 10-day extravaganza with 200 artistes from 20 countries, the dance festival, conceived and curated by contemporary dance school Attakkalari, has come a long way. This edition will have participants from China, New Zealand, the UK and France, among others, representing the theme of “Dance Connect”. “In the first edition, even a three-day festival was organised with a great deal of difficulty and we had to do a lot of outreach to sensitise the audience. Since then we’ve grown in leaps and bounds. Last year, all our performances except one were sold out. That also speaks about how the audience has evolved,” says Attakkalari’s founder and artistic director Jayachandran Palazhi

If you are a dance enthusiast, here are three performances you might not want to miss

4, 5 (Tao Dance Theatre, China) and Traces (Daniel Belton, New Zealand)
The opening night will feature Tao Dance Theater, the first time a company from China’s independent dance scene will be performing at the biennial. “It will be fantastic. This company has made waves wherever they have performed, whether in New York or London,” says Palazhi, who saw them in Beijing 3-4 years ago and has now managed to get them here. The company will be staging two works, titled 4 and 5, in keeping with choreographer Tao Ye’s preference to use numerals instead of words. Preceding this will be Traces”, a digital performance by from New Zealand. “The evening will start with a very poetic digital animation of the entire Chowdiah building. Belton's work is very thoughtful and brings the idea of the city and the environment and will set the tone for the evening,” he says.

Where: Chowdiah Memorial Hall
When: February 6

Black Out (Philippe Saire, Switzerland)
Philippe Saire described his work Black Out in an interview as “A work that contemplates the randomness of mortality in a world of genocide, disease, epidemics, and senseless violence.” The performance is set in a boxing ring of sorts and “it will be as if the audience is looking down on a painting or visual art happening in front of you,” says Palazhy. Each performance will be limited to an audience of 60, so that it can be experienced intimately.

Where: Ranga Shankara
When: February 13 & 14

The Past
German company Dorky Park’s The Past looks at the immense transformation that’s happened in cities, inspired by the carpet bombing that happened at the end of the Second World War. They use the idea to explore what’s happening in contemporary cities, the explosion of growth and the implosion from within. “It’s an epic kind of work with multiple level stages, etc,” says Palazhy.

Where: Chowdiah Memorial Hall
When: February 9

The full schedule and information on tickets is available at

First Published: Thu, February 05 2015. 14:08 IST