Created and Directed by Sheetal Gandhi
Contrapuntal percussive dance and stirring vocalizations come together in this highly rhythmic performance blending Kathak, Bharatanatyam and contemporary dance forms. Composed by Derrick Spiva and Ian Smith and enhanced by live music from bassist Mark Gutierrez, Sheetal Gandhi and Ulka Mohanty investigate issues of personal justice and identity, the imperative of breath, and the repercussions of race-fueled violence.
With biting humor and a deep dose of grit, Sheetal Gandhi's solo work is sophisticated yet accessible, culturally specific yet 'border-crossing.' In both form and content, the work reflects her love for tradition (both cultural and disciplinary) with the equally urgent desire to break from it. Using a hybrid movement vocabulary influenced by Kathak, Modern and West African dance, as well as complex rhythmic structures, theatricality and singing, she crafts a virtuosic and evocative physical/vocal vocabulary.
In this interview, Gandhi tells the story of her artistic development and the creation of her acclaimed solo work, "Bahu-Beti-Biwi." With dance, live singing and percussive text, this tour de force cleverly and humorously defies expectations. "So adept is Gandhi at capturing the distinctive physical characteristics of each embodiment, she seems to literally morph from one to the next, as if there were a cast of dozens of her Indian relatives populating the stage." (Herald-Tribune)
Presented by Pentacle's Metro STEP*
Producer: Anna Brady Nuse
Filmmaker: Michael W. Barnard/Lightning Bolt PIX
Pentacle's Metro Intersections is a group of vibrant dance troupes who blend diverse cultural experiences with contemporary movement. From Bollywood to Hip-Hop, West African dance to Flamenco these troupes educate and inspire audiences and beyond about world cultures while celebrating what it means to be human.
*Pentacle's Metro STEP video series is made possible by Engaging Dance Audiences. Engaging Dance Audiences is administered by Dance/USA and made possible with generous funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
In 2012, Sheetal received the Cultural Exchange International (CEI) Fellowship from the Los Angeles Dept. of Cultural Affairs In support of a four week residency at The Bijlmer ParkTheater in Amsterdam. Sheetal worked with the Surinamese Hindustani community as well as other people of Indian origin to develop a process and create dialogue around their unique experiences and feelings of being Indian and of living in an Indian diaspora. This interview shows footage of Sheetal working with the group, as well as interviews with Sheetal and with the members of the group on what the experience meant for them.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the Netherlands Cultural Services (New York), in partnership with the Dutch Centre for International Cultural Activities (SICA); Music Center, the Netherlands; Netherlands Theatre Institute; and the Dutch Fund for the Performing Arts.