Performance for Social Change
My performance is an expression of my involvement in the things that matter the most to me. Having been trained in folk, classical and modern dance forms, I have used performance as an avenue for enacting change and participating in forms of resistance to the socio-structural forces that create conditions of poverty, deprivation, and marginalization.
Over the last two decades, I have been involved with Rittwick, a community organization in Kharagpur, India that works on issues of social change. Performances have revolved around the topics of communal harmony, globalization policies (GATT, WTO), unhealthy structural systems, food policies, and war. Performance platforms have ranged from street theater and political rallies to on stage performances at community organizations.
Currently, I am experimenting with dances of resistance in subaltern sectors in India. This project looks at the ways in which subaltern groups use performative avenues to resist the inequities in the social structures. Themes revolve around the pain of hunger, the resolve to change the system, and the hope for a better tomorrow. In July/August 2005, I spent time in India conducting workshops, formal lessons, and choreographing a performance on Protest.