Over centuries, Indian movement arts have been transmitted exclusively from teachers to disciples through years of training. How can we harness technological developments in this digital age to advance our methods of disseminating knowledge in this field? How do we marry innovation with tradition, augmented reality with Indian classical dance, in a way that also respects the strength and beauty of customs?
These are just some of the questions that drive the work of dancer and choreographer Jayachandran Palazhy. Palazhy is the pioneering artistic director of Bangalore-based Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts, an institution at the forefront of the contemporary Indian dance scene. Attakkalari’s tenets of “traditional physical wisdom, innovation and technology” reflect Palazhy’s personal belief in the potential of technology to exponentially expand one’s artistic horizons.
In this highly informative and interactive exhibition, Palazhy presents his groundbreaking research project, NAGARIKA. Derived from the Sanskrit word for ‘a civilisational dimension’, NAGARIKA documents – on an integrated information platform – the concepts of body and the movement principles of classical Indian dance Bharatanatyam and Indian martial art Kalaripayattu. Through NAGARIKA, Palazhy has developed a springboard for young professionals to create new movement ideas, a historic first in an arena which had hitherto relied solely on long apprenticeships for skills transmission.