ATTAKKALARI INDIA BIENNIAL- A Festival of Contemporary Dance and Mixed Media
Held in Bangalore, India, every two years since 2000, Attakkalari India Biennial is a unique platform in South Asia for fresh voices in contemporary dance, digital arts and research. The nature of Bangalore's geopolitical and cultural location makes it a strategic centre to initiate a North-South dialogue on innovation and performance arts with an international perspective. Apart from its committed audience base in Bangalore, the Biennial also attracts audiences from all over India, and increasingly, internationally.
Attakkalari Biennial was such an exhilarating experience. The choice of the NGMA for the opening was spot on and Ranga Shankara scored as a space that allowed for just the right degree of intimacy between the performer and the audience. I met some really interesting people, had quite a few animated conversations and saw Ningyo and Traces [Attakkalari India Biennial 2011], each exciting in its own way - the former, of course a finished piece, the latter, work-in-progress. For now, I just want say, thank you for your hospitality and warmth and to wish you the very best as you continue with all the hard work to create, nurture and popularise contemporary dance in India.
You are an incredible team and you do an incredibly amazing job for the dance in Bangalore, for India and for all lovers of multiple and diverse dance aesthetics in the world. You have a wonderful spirit, especially by taking care for young choreographers from all over the world as well as from India and a great courage to expose all kinds of art forms of dance from all over the world. It was important for me to see it myself and experience all the details. I think we are big step further in our cooperation and exchange.
The last two editions of the festival - Attakkalari India Biennial 2009 and Attakkalari India Biennial 2011 - has seen some of the finest, critically acclaimed artists from across the world. Over the period of the Biennials, renowned dance companies such as Dance Theatre CcadoO (South Korea), Cie Phillipe Saire (Switzerland), Faso Dance Theatre (Burkina Faso), Jonah Bokaer (USA) and Samir Akika (Germany) to name a few. Apart from performances in theatres and alternate spaces the festival has engaged with students across the city on various projects that commenced much earlier. These included a design residency at NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology), Bangalore. Together they designed carnival costumes for the opening night of Attakkalari India Biennial 2009, which had artists from Karnataka performing alongside drummers from Portugal, dancers from Spain, musicians from France and Japan - with a digital installation on Bangalore providing a dynamic backdrop.
After the success of the 2009 edition, Attakkalari India Biennial 2011 took Bangalore to the international level of city festivals such as the Avignon Festival and the Montpellier Festival. A multimedia performance, encapsulating the art forms of South India was premiered in Bangalore at the National Gallery of Modern Art to inaugurate Attakkalari India Biennial 2011. Various images of Karnataka's rich landscape were projected on the facade of NGMA which transformed the space completely. This special theatrical treat was enhanced with the use of the latest technology and light design by international collaborators. The next nine days saw artists from The Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Iran, Germany France, UK, Norway, Iraq (based in Sweden), Pakistan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Japan, Sweden, Israel, Lebanon, Australia, South Korea and different parts of India animate various venues in the city. Apart from artists from 20 countries the last festival was also attended by 27 international festival directors and curators as well as representatives of several cultural agencies, artists, thinkers and media personnel.