Priyanka Chandrasekhar


November 19th 2022

An evening of looking at personal stories, law, politics and performance
As part of Cartoon Natyam Performance series

Priyanka is movement practitioner based in Bangalore. She also has trained and worked as a lawyer and her performance today is inspired by both these experiences. She brings to you an anthology of new works that investigate the relationship between what we perform in classical dance and what is happening around us. The choreography will explore texts and poetry popularly used in Indian classical dance and their relevance to the contemporary lives of the performer. Through these subversive works, Priyanka will attempt to question the practice and pedagogy of her form while situating her performance in the present political context and critically looking at her own lived experiences.

What is a ‘margam’, should we still follow it? Why and how do we dance in our own universe? Should we look around? What does it take to pause, to break? Why only Krishna? Who is ordinary and who is special? How are children coping with our binary World? Can women own their stories? Can we claim our space and resist the regime? Are we a Sita or a Surpanaka? How important is it to speak the history of the form we practice? Can we trace our own histories through it? How do we deal with the violence of the past? How do we cope with the present? How do we now create a future?

Priyanka Chandrasekhar is a lawyer by education and a professional classical dancer based in Bangalore. She is trained in Bharathanatyam for more than 25 years and Kathak for about 10 years. She has also learnt the margi techniques of movement. Priyanka has performed extensively in both solo and group formats in India and abroad along with popular dance companies. She is currently a freelance performer and choreographer. She enjoys process based works and building work through facilitation.
Priyanka conducts bharathanatyam classes under the initiative – ‘Nirali’. Presently, Priyanka is trying to relook at the pedagogy of classical dance and aspires to design a new curriculum in classical arts which is accessible, relevant and critical. With a keen interest in the politics of the form and it’s history, Priyanka’s present work explores inter-disciplinary approaches, methods and collaborations that provide space and agency for her co-creators and audiences. She hopes to create a new body of work in Bharathanatyam that includes relevant content, a thinking mind, questions,
personal stories, political contexts and has the ability to leave the audiences with an experience.