Sept 3 to 7, 2019 Chennai
Arangham Learning Labs -
a capacity building initiative for classical dancers

Arangham Dance Theatre proudly presents the inaugural edition of Learning Labs

Learning Labs are yearly intensives held every September for a group of 8 to 10 classical dancers and choreographers with high-profile visiting artists in an intimate, immersive studio space. Learning Labs are a unique opportunity for classical dancers to get out of their comfort zones; reflect on their creative practice; and expand their toolkit for moving and making.

Curated by Dr. Anita Ratnam in partnership with Dr. Nithya Nagarajan.

Learning Lab # 1: Countertechnique
Countertechnique provides tools for the body and mind to deal with a demanding dance practice in the 21st century. It is a movement system to help the dancer think about the dancing body, focusing on the process of incorporating information into action. Within a clear structure of exercises, the Countertechnique class thoroughly prepares the body for rehearsal and performance, enabling dancers to move bigger, more fluidly and more spatially, while becoming stronger and more flexible. First a sequence of short repetitive exercises allows the dancer to practice the principles in a subtle way. By the end of the class, the material quickly accumulates into a fun, flowing movement combination, where the dancer can apply the information shared during the class.

By continuously and sequentially directing and counter directing parts of the body through space, Countertechnique allows the moving dancer to work with an ever changing dynamic balance. This dynamic balance reduces the pressure on the overall body structure and can be changed at any given moment. The consistent use of the counter direction in all movements is key to the technique; both the awareness and application of this principle is trained throughout the Countertechnique class. It leads to a joyous expression of movement in an inclusive, experimental and curious environment.

Dates: September 3 to September 7, 2019
Venue: Arangham Studios, 10 Cenotaph II Lane, Teynampet, Chennai 600018
Cost: Free of Charge.

Interstate applicants will be provided with food and accommodation at a subsidised fee.

Application Process: Competitive
Please apply with a 150 word artist bio and an additional 150 word expression of interest on how the workshop will enhance your practice as a dancer/choreographer. Attach a headshot / performance shot with your application.

Applications are to be emailed to arrraksha@gmail.com by May 31st, 2019. Only 8 to 10 participants will be selected and the decisions will be made at the discretion of the selection committee.

Guest Facilitator: Niharika Senapati

Niharika Senapati
Niharika Senapati is a freelance artist who works in a variety of contexts, as a dancer, actor, sound designer and teacher. Since 2012, she has been performing and touring with Chunky Move, working closely with director Anouk van Dijk as a dancer and choreographic assistant. She has performed extensively in Chunky Move works, some including An Act of Now (2017 & 2012), AntióGravity (2018 & 2017), Rule of Thirds (2016) and Depth of Field (2017 & 2015). She was also Choreographic Assistant for Distant Matter (Staadtsballet Berlin, 2019), Safe Places (Schauspiel Frankfurt, 2016) and Complexity of Belonging (Melbourne Theatre Company, 2013). Niharika most recently performed in Trustees by the Belarus Free Theatre for Malthouse Theatre (Melbourne Festival, 2018), F Project by Prue Lang and Replay by Eszter Salamon (Abbotsford Convent, 2018).

She was sound designer for DanceQuietRiot (Emma Fishwick, 2018), E/Merge (Lauren Langlois, 2018) and Our Sandman (Rebecca Riggs-Bennett, 2019). Throughout the years, Niharika has had the pleasure of working with Ian Strange, Ho Tzu Nyen, Lucy Guerin, Rachel Arianne Ogle, Emma Fishwick, Jacob Lehrer, Luigi Vescio, Jessica Arthur and Didem Caia. Alongside performing, Niharika is a Senior Countertechnique teacher, teaching extensively around the world and also creates her own work. Niharika presented IMAGINATION / VACATION (SIGNAL Arts, 2017), Follow your Dreams (No Vacancy Gallery, 2017) and Positive Reinforcement (Blak Dot Gallery, 2018). Niharika attended two artist led residencies in 2018, with Arts House for 'Time Space Place - Nomad 2018' and at Bundanon Trust with Matt Shilcock and Daisy Sanders.

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