Venue: 11 Bedford Square, Room 0-03, London WC1B 3RF
Please join us for the final Aesthetics of Cool Seminar. Our guest will be Dr Priya Srinivasan.
"Performing Inner Songs: Atmospheres of Migration"
This interdisciplinary performance uses voice, songs, poetry, dance, visual objects and imagery to look at the inner landscapes of disparate women's journeys through their imaginative connections across time and place to understand migration from an affective register. At a moment when migration is in question the world over, and migrant bodies unwanted, this piece concerns itself with what possible atmospheres and futures open up when song, dances, voices, and bodies collide with layered fragments of the past. Pairing women's texts and song that date back thousands of years from India with recovered Images and stories of exile past and present from Sudan and Romania, the piece invites audiences to rethink feminist voices from nonwestern contexts through the stunning impact of their intersections. The performance invokes intimacy, darkness, light, sound, and movement and asks the audience to interact and surrender to the affective atmosphere of empathy. Dancer/scholar Priya Srinivasan (Australia) joins singer Uthra Vijay (India/Australia) and visual artist Andreea Campaneau (Romania) for a unique collaboration of classical carnatic music, and the convergence of histories, lyricism, affect, and resonance. The performance will be followed by a discussion with audiences and local communities.
Uthra Vijay is the Artistic Director of Keerthana School of Music in Melbourne that she founded in 2003 currently with over 95 students. She is a versatile artist, composer and educator, who is equally comfortable working in the classical realm or experimenting with non-classical forms of music including popular music and contemporary forms. She has an extensive background in Indian classical music, winning several awards and performing in a range of venues in India and Australia. Uthra is an accomplished Classical Indian Music Vocalist emerging from a musical family having trained in the Carnatic music form since the age of 5. She learned from several distinguished gurus and was exposed to different musical styles culminating in her training under the auspices of S.P. Ramh in the late legendary violinist Lalgudi Jayaram’s School of Music. She has brought her extensive solo performance experience in South India from The Rasika Ranjani Sabha, Karaikudi Kamban Vizha, Ramakrishna Mutt, and elsewhere to Melbourne and has presented concert length performances at the Carnatic Music Circle, Laya Vidya Centre, Indian Music Academy of Melbourne, Sydney Music Circle, and several Indian Dance school concerts. Uthra has overseen and directed 11 annual concerts of the Keerthana School of Music with over 100 performers. She has also collaborated and performed with Dr. Priya Srinivasan in contemporary performances at the Treasury Building for Mapping Melbourne Festival, Jaipur Literary Festival in Melbourne (Fed Square), Immigration Museum for the Triennial International Asian Festival AsiaTOPA which included intercultural experimentation with Iranian singer Tabassom Ostad, and the Australia India Institute. She will be performing in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Hamburg collaborating with European musicians, visual artists, and choreographers on migration projects in May-June 2017. Her compositional work includes setting classical and contemporary music for vocalists and dancers alike, including soundscapes for experimental artists. She is a leader in Indian Migrant Communities of Melbourne and just completed her term as the Secretary of Federation of Indian Music and Dance Association of Victoria. Her primary goal is to work both for the South Asian communities of Melbourne and for wider communities to open minds and hearts through music.
Dr. Priya Srinivasan is a dancer, choreographer and scholar whose research and performance is framed by postmodern sensibilities while grounded in feminist Indian classical performance practices. Her work brings together live bodily performance with visual art, interactive multimedia and digital technology to think about archives of the body, migration, and female labor from the perspective of art. Her work has been presented in diverse settings in many theatre houses, galleries, universities, museums, and in public spaces such as the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai (China), The Korzo Theatre in The Hague (Netherlands), Folkwang Performing Arts Center in Essen (Germany), The Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam (Netherlands), typografia galleria in Bucharest (Romania), Krishna Gana Sabha in Chennai (India), Unknown Theatre in California, in international festivals such as AsiaTOPA and Jaipur Literary Festival in Melbourne, Australia, and site specific works at the Irvine Civic Center and Bill Barber Park, in Los Angeles (USA), Treasury Building and The Immigration Museum in Melbourne Australia. She will be performing in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Hamburg collaborating with European musicians, visual artists, and choreographers on gendered migration projects in May-June 2017. She has presented her performance and academic work at Harvard University (USA), Stanford University (USA), Oxford University (UK) and several other spaces in Switzerland, Sweden, UK, and Austria. She has a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and has created the form of "talking dances" based on her award winning book "Sweating Saris Indian Dance as Transnational Labor." Originally from Melbourne Priya was trained in the classical and contemporary Indian and Asian arts by Dr. Chandrabhanu and performed extensively with the Bharatam Dance Company in her early years. After returning recently to Melbourne Priya has created a range of community specific pieces that focus on migration and loss, and make visible minority women's histories offering an alternate feminist aesthetic. She hopes to serve local communities in de-centering practices, re-imagining history in the present, develop socio-political critiques, highlighting the importance of migration and movement in these deeply divided critical times in order to enable a better understanding of how art helps communities accept their mutual dependence.