Gati presents
IGNITE! Festival
October 9-16, 2016 Delhi
October 18-19, 2016 Jaipur

September 29, 2016

Initiated in 2010, IGNITE! Festival of Contemporary Dance is conceived as a space for dance that is rooted in experimentation, criticality and provocation. It has successfully completed three editions in Nov 2010, Nov 2012 and Jan 2015. IGNITE! is a biennale that aims to give high-quality Indian contemporary dance public visibility, showcase creativity and innovation in Indian dance, support the development of vibrant, new artistic work and facilitate collaborations amongst a wide range of dance organisations in the country. IGNITE! has been instrumental in creating an open platform where diverse contemporary dance practices are made accessible to a large number of audiences.

In its 4th edition, scheduled for Oct 9 – 16, 2016, with a satellite festival in Jaipur on Oct 18-19, 2016, the festival is structured around the central themes of form, identity and dissent. With the body forming the core of critical choreographic practices throughout history, the curation of the festival programme will explore dance and performance as a medium to question, to share, to resist, defend or argue.

IGNITE! is an initiative of Gati Dance Forum, an independent, not-for-profit arts initiative that works in the field of contemporary dance. Founded in 2007, in response to the absence of opportunities and infrastructure for independent dance in India, Gati works towards creating a collaborative ecosystem, which supports dance practice in India that is dynamic and sustainable.

•  Performances and masterclasses by a range of leading practitioners

•  The premiere of #INTERSECT, an ongoing project by the Devi Art Foundation and the Gati Dance Forum, with three commissioned collaborations between visual artists and dancers who explore the vocabularies that emerge at the intersection of contemporary art and dance. 

• REMEMBERING CHANDRALEKHA, an exhibition curated by her long-time collaborator
Sadanand Menon, with archival photographs of the legendary dancer/ choreographer and her choreographic oeuvre.  

• The launch of TILT | PAUSE | SHIFT: DANCE ECOLOGIES IN INDIA, a new book of critical writing on dance in contemporary India. 

• Film screenings

The performances at IGNITE! 2016 continue to encourage us to read contemporary dance, and consequently, present-day society, through the lens of form, identity and dissent.

-In NH7, Deepak Kurki Shivaswamy writes home about rural migration and the dizzying pace of urbanisation that transforms his city even as he finds his bearings in it.
-Manju Sharma, in RUSH HOUR, finds humour and monotony as bodies and automobiles become metaphors for one another.
-Daniel Kok brings to us a critique of identity, with his ironic take on navigating Europe as an Asian artist in CHEERLEADER OF EUROPE.
-Nimmy Raphel finds a springboard in the Ramayana, linking the lifelines of two of its key characters through sleep – the absence and presence of it – in NIDRAVATHWAM.
-Meanwhile, in UNSEEN, alert to regressive positions on the place of women in society, Kalyanee Mulay and Vishnupad Barve revisit the strongly feminist arguments of the 19th century activist Pandita Ramabai.
-Sujata Goel explores the construction of gesture and meaning in DANCING GIRL, challenging the politics of exotica and a Eurocentric understanding of contemporary dance aesthetics.
-In FIELD, casting three bodies into a magnetic web of force, Tabea Martin tries to understand what drives people and how they can engage with each other.
-Finally, in CONDITIONS OF CARRIAGE, as ten dancers negotiate the force of gravity, to jump, Preethi Athreya poses tough questions about our expectations of performance and the fragility of the body and its endurance.


#INTERSECT emerges out of an ongoing collaboration between the Devi Art Foundation and Gati Dance Forum to explore the potential languages emerging at the intersection of contemporary art and dance. While anchoring itself as a space for experimentation, it engages with the current political climate through a process of discovery and introspection that pushes the boundaries of form, content and place. The project proposes a collaboration between contemporary dance practitioners and visual artists to produce three new works that will be premiered at IGNITE! 2016. This collaboration facilitates the practitioners to envision processes that emerge at the intersection of their artistic languages, expanding the questions around identity and dissent.

Resonating with the festival’s theme of FORM | IDENTITY | DISSENT, the conference places the body at the centre of a complex interrogation that considers how the body has been informed by, and informs, several processes, politics and histories. The dancing body is encouraged to speak independently, distinguishing itself from the multiple discourses that it is subject to. We begin to look at dance practice in its various historical, social, political and personal contexts.

Finally, Form | Identity | Dissent places contemporary dance in an interdisciplinary web, where conversations are had in the realm of ideas. This strand of the conference emerges from How to Stage, a series of interdisciplinary conversations between performance makers, archivists, anthropologists and cultural theorists in the interest of unearthing a discursive ground for the language of multiple practices.

Form | Identity | Dissent is curated by Ranjana Dave in collaboration with Priya Srinivasan and Zuleikha Chaudhari.


GET PASSES OFFLINE FROM OCTOBER 3, 2016 @ Gati Dance Forum, S-17, Khirki Extension, Opp. Select Citywalk, New Delhi 110017
Call 9971406113 for enquiries.