Riverside Theatres presents
Meander through landscapes with film, Tamil poetry, song and dance
IDAM:Place is a new performance and screen work by veteran classical Indian dancer, Anandavalli, and filmmaker, Iqbal Barkat. Using live and filmed elements of Indian poetry, dance, music and song, and locating it within the Australian environment, the work is a soulful invocation of place – both present and eternal.
IDAM:Place is inspired by ancient Tamil Sangam poetry which places nature as part of human life, linked to everyday life events at all levels, but also having its own agency and volition. The poems feature in both English and Tamil as conversations across time, place and medium, between a live singer (esteemed Carnatic singer, Arjunan Puveendran) and visual projection of dance and landscapes.
IDAM:Place will feature the Australian debut of the dance film “Anthi”. Tamil for twilight, “Anthi”, evokes a transition – from light into darkness; through the uncertainty of the future towards adaptation, meaning and hope. It is an anthem to the present. Staged in the Australian bush, Anandavalli, performs to “Mukthi Alikkum”, a Tamil song on social justice. “Anthi”, connects ancient South-Asian dance and music forms to an Australian landscape, a setting witnessing the horror of human folly and heedlessness
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Anandavalli – choreographer/dancer
Anandavalli is a veteran classical Indian dancer with an international career spanning over 45 years. Born in Sri Lanka, she performed as a young prodigy across India and Europe under the tutelage of dance luminaries from both the East and the West. In 1985 she migrated to Australia and founded Lingalayam Dance Company. Lingalayam’s work incorporates dance, live music, text and design. The company’s central focus is to express the timeless, unique role of women and dance in our society. Through a series of innovative, national and international collaborative partnerships, today Lingalayam’s choreographic vocabulary far transcends the boundaries of its original performative paradigms, and presents contemporary work founded on its classical origins.
Iqbal Barkat – visual director/filmmaker
Iqbal is a digital artist, filmmaker and a proponent and practitioner of community and participatory arts. His works are often hybrid as they emanate from real settings but include fictional elements and involve the intersection of digital media with other art forms. His project, “Terrorist/Apostate”, a hybrid theatre/digital media work that explores the outsider and Islam, was performed at Parramatta Riverside Theatres and Blacktown Arts Centre in Western Sydney, Australia. His most recent film is an observational documentary on a primary school in Western Sydney, “This Is Our School”. Iqbal was born in Singapore where he founded the now disbanded political theatre company, Gung-ho Theatre Ensemble. He teaches screen practice at Macquarie University, Sydney.
Arjunan Puveendran – composer/vocalist
Arj’s work focuses on the intersection of music, dance, rhythm and dialogue. As a vocalist, percussionist and speaker, he has presented various arts projects including: Ātma: Music and Movement (2017), Bhakti: Art and Devotion (2018), Bhoomi: Woman and Earth (2019) and Re-imagining Dance: Brown Bodies on the Global Stage (2020). He also featured in the multi-award- winning play Counting and Cracking (2019) by Belvoir and Co-Curious. Arj is scheduled to work with Belvoir again in its co-production with Lingalayam The Jungle and the Sea in 2022 as musician and composer. He staged Bhoomi: Our Country with collaborator Indu Balachandran for Sydney Festival 2021 at Seymour Centre. Arj was recently included by the Australia Council for the Arts in its cohort of 25 Arts Leaders for 2020-2021.