Contemporary dance meets graphic illusions in Hakanai
The setting might well resemble that of a wrestling cage in WWE. But for Hakanai, this is the stage, one made of lights, and assembled to conjure graphic illusions that go along with the main dance performance. Created by French duo Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne, this evolved performance art form will be performed inside a 9ft tall and 16ft long box. The 40-minute solo by Bengaluru-based movement artiste Priyabrata Panigrahi is being hosted by Alliance Française of Madras in association with Institut français India and Prakriti Foundation, as a part of Bonjour India 2018.
Panigrahi has been training with French choreographer Virginie Barjonnet since May 2017. Barjonnet, being the first dancer to perform Hakanai in Lyon in 2013, says that the piece is more like a dream. “Hakanai, the term itself, means a short dream or something you can’t feel. The whole experience of the performance is very quiet, but also intense at times. The contemporary steps in this performance speak of what is inside you, and that is what connects the audience and dancer throughout the show.” Speaking of how the show is still a team effort, she says, “Though you only see the dancer, it is actually a team of three that makes the show a success — the dancer, musician and the lighting manager. The dance is in coordination with the graphics, and the lights that needs to sync with the music, which is a complex task.”
Priyabrata, an alumnus of Attakkalari, says Hakanai is more like a conversation between the graphics and the dancer. “A story builds up as you go on for 40 minutes, and as we have graphics and lights, it is visually appealing, and people understand the flow of the story that is built automatically by the dancer and the illustrations around him. There is not a set scripted story, but the music sets the tone for the performance, because of the variation of sound effects. There are no other props that are used in this show. It is just the performer and the box with transparent sides that will display the graphics,” explains the 26-year-old performer.
Panigrahi, who was also a student at P.A.R.T.S, Belgium, is among the first dancers to perform on a project that combines art and technology to create a visual illusion. About how he got the opportunity, he says, “I was working on a play by Mumbai-based Atul Kumar titled Khwab Sa under The Company Theatre banner. I got to know of an audition happening at Attakkalari, I decided to go for it, and the rest is history.”
Hakanai will be staged at Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall. On January 28, 7.30 pm.
The event will also be staged at Hyderabad International Convention Centre. On January 31, 7.30 pm.