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Depicting interactive spaces

Feb 03, 2012, DHNS : 18:04 IST

‘CIVIC MIMIC’

Civic Mimic’, a show choreographed and directed by Richard Siegal, the founder and artistic director of The Bakery Paris–Berlin, was held recently in the City.

Energetic : Scenes from ‘Civic Mimic’.What was most evident during the show was the energy and enthusiasm of the dancers.

Their movement was quick and rigorous conveying something at every step. It was a treat to watch the dancers walk, talk and move like remote-controlled robots.

The performance was a final presentation by the Attakkalari Repertory Company, the culmination of a two-week choreography workshop by Richard Siegal.

The performance explored the gathering of people in urban and public spaces, the conditions of belonging, exclusion and ownership.

The movement was generated by Siegal’s choreographic inquiry employing the ‘If/Then Methodology’, a game-based syntactical and notational system.

The movements were at times, soft and at times, very volatile. Talking at the end of the performance, Richard said that the show had exceeded his expectations. “The idea was also to involve the public into issues that are directly related to it.

The dancers mirrored the way the public behaves and reacts to situations in public spaces,” explained Richard. He pointed out that dancers were depicting the remote controlled, mechanical life that most people led.

He recalled his initial days before he began professionally learning and later, teaching the dance form. “It was tough for me initially when I began. My beginning wasn’t easy but I slowly started picking up the basic and took off from there. Dance has taught me a lot, especially how to survive in a tough space,” he added.

Richard is an artiste in-residence at Muffatwerk/Munich. He has generated international attention for a body of work that includes performances, new media projects, workshops and publications.

Those who were present at the show thoroughly enjoyed the performance and said that they had witnessed something different and unique. Shreya Gupta, a final year student at Mount Carmel College said, “You would never realise that activity in public spaces could be depicted in such a creative way. It was truly insightful.” Seema Rao, another dancer said, “It is only through exchange programmes like this that one gets to know the best of the West.”

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