Future Memory by Rani Nair
“What you take, shall be lost to you – what you give, will remain yours forever.” Kurt Jooss
What does it mean to inherit a dance? German choreographer Kurt Jooss made his last piece Dixit Dominus in 1975 as a gift for Swedish-based Indian dancer Lilavati Häger, who gave it to Rani Nair to reconstruct in 2003. Future Memory (2012) returns to Dixit, this time focusing not on the choreography but on the stories around it. It is a second-order performance — a performance about a performance — that uses the personal responsibilities of inheritance to move towards larger questions of history, memory, and legacy. A review from the premiere described it as combining “Humor, warmth, and intellectual sharpness, all in one.” With a combination of gentleness and challenge, Future Memory embraces the possibility of an alternative history, one in which a “minor” dance takes ten years of another artist’s life, and where insider and outsider are more complicated than we might think. Here both identity and dance history are understood not in terms of Indian versus Western European, but in a hybrid way that uses real and imagined archives to allow for shades of Indianness, Swedishness, and Germanness.
Nair’s one-hour solo uses dance, spoken text, film, and singing in more and less spectacular forms. There are moments when audiences are invited to touch and smell. And there is a duet between a hair-dryer and a costume that was never worn in performance.
concept, choreographer, perfomer: Rani Nair
dramaturg, historian: Kate Elswit
technical consultant: Tobias Hallgren
production: Rani Nair, Anna Thelin
Supported by: The Arts Council of Sweden, The Swedish Arts Grant’s Committee and Carina Ari Memorial Foundation. Created during residencies at The Cullberg ballet, Dansstationen Malmö, and The House of Dance Stockholm.
Dansstationen, Malmö, December 2012
Lunds Konsthall, Lund, December 2012
Performing Arts biennal, Jönköping, May 2013
Festival of Dance and Cultural Heritage, Skånes Dansteater, Malmö, October 2013
The Royal Institute of Arts, Stockholm, October 2013
The House of Dance, Stockholm, March 2014
Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, Salzburg, May 2014
IGNITE! Festival of Contemporary Dance, New Delhi, January 2015
Impulstanz Vienna August 2015
Singapore International Festival of Arts September 2015