I Dance to touch the intangible.
I dAnce to feel, process, dive deep, sit in discomfort and to let go.
I daNce to hide in imaginary realms.
I danCe to be seen.
I dancE to dream.
I DaNcE to freedom.
I dance to ME.
Dance was never something I actively considered pursuing in my growing years, but as I reflect back, I find that it was always present in my life. My earliest childhood sensations around dance are of pure joy and abandon. In the moments that I danced, I could access a part of me that allowed for complete self acceptance around my sexual identity and gender expression.
Some of my earliest memories that clearly stay with me to this day are around visuals and sounds of the dance we now call bharatanatyam. There was a sensory overload in its experience. The mridangam made my heart dance. I was instantly attracted to the vibrant red on palms and feet painted in alta and the heady fragrance of jasmine gajras. All of these sensations inform my personal and dance aesthetic even today and creep up in my creative processes.
Formal dance training came much later in my life. In experiencing its formality, I have occupied space (many times simultaneously) as student of dance, performer, interpreter and now dance maker. After having trained for over a decade in a form steeped in a history of erasure, marginalization and appropriation, I feel compelled to deeply consider the implications of my positioning as a privileged body occupying this space.
Many questions, curiosities, disconnections and negotiations later, today I find myself standing in its essence as a loud and proud queer person, slowly finding my voice in its gift. As I continue to learn and to unlearn, as I make peace with its complexity and find new ways to be present with it, I find myself drawn to making work that celebrates explicit erotic sensuality through my queer body and experience, taking power away from privileged conditioning of shame, taboo and exclusion around the queer body through heteronormative lenses of “morality”, “decency” and “dignity”.
INDIAN SUMMER FESTIVAL
An exploration of queer identity through dance.
Tuesday, July 12 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
$5 – $45