About Sandhiya Kalyanasundaram

Sandhiya Kalyanasundaram is a choreographer, art-science curator and poet. Trained in Bharatanatyam, Butoh and Flamenco, Sandhiya has led and performed in several collaborative performances between dance styles and used dance therapy to work with special needs children and survivors of domestic violence. She has worked as a research professional for ten years in the field of Neuroscience and has received the Milpitas city grant to curate an exhibit on Neuroscience-based visual and performing art. In 2013, Sandhiya co-founded and worked as the Creative Director of Sangam Arts– a non-profit whose mission is to enable meaningful and lasting connections between communities using classical arts. Sandhiya has served on the Jury Panel for the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival in San Francisco, 2014. Sandhiya loves working the land and has been extensively working with master gardeners to design sustainable landscapes in the Pacific Northwest for the last 4 years.

Reclaiming land- Rediscovering body

Sandhiya Kalyanasundaram

This post describes a class that I co-taught at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru, India during Aug-Nov 2018.

The students explored the idea of time as paradox and creating dance through site- specific gardening and land reclamation. Gardening creates a new order of mind-body connections and a new experience of time as the gardening process is internalized. The students who chose to create dance were previously untrained in any dance form and it was an experimental process for me as I tried to deepen and shape their mind -practice through the viscerality of gardening and being actively in touch with their emotions while creating movement sequences. Through the post, I also wish to open the discussion to how embodied dance practice can contribute in creating an ethical ecological consciousness in the individual amateur student and the question of process versus outcome oriented teaching of dance.

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