Podcast 13: Classical and Contemporary Indian Dance

Duration: 25 min

When we want to talk about tradition and contemporary …  I see it as a kind of a recalibration, a relocation of form in this time and this space. Watching Raka and her group, to my eye, it was very difficult to say here is where tradition stops and here is where contemporary begins.”

Dance Podcast host, Dr Stephanie Burridge is joined by multidisciplinary artist, choreographer, movement educator, researcher and writer Nirmala Seshadri in a conversation that challenges the accepted descriptors of  ‘traditional’ and ‘contemporary’ in their discussion of CHOWK’s recent production of Pallavi in Time.


Download Podcast 13 here. (right-click and select ‘Save Link As’ on Windows; control+click and select ‘Save Link As’ on Apple)


Photo: Bernie Ng, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
Photo: Bernie Ng, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay


Photo: Bernie Ng, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
Photo: Bernie Ng, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay


Photo: Bernie Ng, Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
Photo: Bernie Ng, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay



Selected Reviews

Pallavi in Time by CHOWK: Seductive Virtuosity” by Chan Sze-Wei (ArtsEquator)

Pallavi in Time a Quintet of Elegance – Review” by Ezekiel Oliviera (FiveLines)

“Ground-breaking dance work” by Stephanie Burridge (Straits Times)

Pallavi in Time by Chowk ran from 21 to 22 April 2017 at the Esplanade Theatre Studio. Cast: Meera Gurumurthy, Raka Maitra, Namaha Mazoomdar, Karishma Nair, Sandhya Suresh.

Podcast host Dr Stephanie Burridge trained at the Laban Center (UK), holds a BA in Anthropology/Arts History (Australian National University) and a Ph.D in Contemporary Dance from London Contemporary Dance School in association with the University of Kent (UK). As Artistic Director of Canberra Dance Theatre (1978-2001) she created over 40 works and commissioned Australia’s leading choreographers, composers, visual artists and performers – she was awarded the first Choreographic Fellowship at the Australian Choreographic Centre, an ACT Lifetime Achievement award. She has also choreographed for television, music theater, opera and other dance companies such as Ballet Philippine and also created floor routines for the Australian women’s gymnastics team for four Olympic Games.

Stephanie lectures at Lasalle College of the Arts and Singapore Management University, has been a research consultant at the National Institute of Education, is the author and editor of numerous journal and book publications on dance and education including Shifting Sands: Dance in Asia and the Pacific (2006). She is the Series Editor for Routledge “Celebrating Dance in Asia and the Pacific” and to date published books on Cambodia, India, Malaysia, Australia, Taiwan, the South Pacific and Singapore . Stephanie holds the position of co-chair of the Dance Research and Documentation Network for the World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific.

Podcast guest, Nirmala Seshadri  is a multidisciplinary artist, choreographer, movement educator, researcher and writer. She consistently problematises boundaries of time, place, gender, caste, and other social constructs, interrogating existing inequalities and using the body and performance space as a way of addressing them. Bridging dance practice with theory, her research interests include kinesthesia and corporeality, gender, tradition and transition, site specificity, cultural hybridisation and the politics of identity. As a choreographer and educator she focusses on recontextualizing traditional forms in the contemporary Singapore milieu. She started developing her movement system Antarika at NAFA’s Dance Department as a tool for focus, introspection, conceptual improvisation and choreography.

Nirmala graduated with an M.A in Dance Anthropology (distinction) from the University of Roehampton. She is a recipient of the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award, Singar Mani (Mumbai) and Balasaraswati Endowment Award (Chennai).


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