2020 | Vikram Iyengar
A Multitude of Drops
RIVERS OF MEMORY
A Multitude of Drops / Cyprus ~ India
Rivers of Memory is the first in a series of performance pieces called A Multitude of Drops, imagined and created by Vikram Iyengar along with various collaborators. A Multitude of Drops emerges from performance research and extended workshops investigating the climate crisis and artistic responses to it, and builds bridges between areas like the Sundarbans in India and other parts of the world. In Rivers of Memory, we explore our various relationships to water, land and all they stand for, moving fluidly between the Sundarbans mangrove forests in the vast south Bengal delta and the rivers and shores of the island of Cyprus. The piece has been built with and through specific rhythm structures and variations from the Indian dance form of kathak , along with movement and text improvisations developed with the cast over a collaborative workshop. Journeying with myth, memory, history, geography, politics and personal experiences, we examine the intricate interconnections that draw our environments together as well as pull them apart.
Concept and Direction: Vikram Iyengar
Project Collaborators: Lav Kanoi, Vicky Long
Research and Development: Vikram Iyengar, Lav Kanoi
Workshop and Devising: Vikram Iyengar, Lav Kanoi, Amlan Chaudhuri
Choreography and Movement: Vikram Iyengar, Amlan Chaudhuri
Devised and Created with: Andreas Patsias, Evie Demetriou, Lyda Karayianni, Marian Kyprianou, Marita Anastasi
Thinking Partner: Maria Hadjimichael
Lighting Design: Amlan Chaudhuri
Video Design: Kunal Chakraborty
Sound Design and Arrangement: Subhagata Singha, Vikram Iyengar
Original Texts from: Various works by Amitav Ghosh, Vicky Long, Kunwar Narayan, Maria Hadjimichael et al Ganga Stotram (Adi Shankaracharya), Rg Ved, Shiva Tandav Stotra Personal contributions of company
Translations to English: Lav Kanoi
Vocals: Rajeshwari Ganguly Banerjee
Voices (Text): Anubha Fatehpuria, Lav Kanoi, Amlan Chaudhuri
Voices (Mnemonics): Vikram Iyengar, Samila Bhattacharya
Acknowledgements: Nayia Karacosta, Belinda Papavasileiou, Vicky Long, Jayati Chakraborty, Malavika Banerjee
Co-production: Ranan India (Calcutta) & Buffer Fringe Festival, Cyprus
About the Process:
A Multitude of Drops emerges from performance research and extended workshops investigating the climate crisis and artistic responses to it. The Sundarbans in south Bengal are experiencing rising sea-levels, salinity, cyclones, and unplanned development. This creates displacement of every kind –people, cultures, and ecologies. Cyprus is projected to face temperature increase, decline in rainfall, and desertification. Water gives life, but also takes it away. The climate crisis is a fallout of lifestyles we are unwilling to change. This piece’s structure and process shares artistic work from process to performance, without needing to tour a whole company – thereby reducing carbon footprint. It proposes a new perspective on artistic ownership. Each version of the work adds co-creators and stakeholders to a growing collective, encouraging responsibility within the process of ourselves and others, as well as of the ecologies which support us and the planet we call home.
Vikram Iyengar: concept and direction
Vikram is an arts leader and connector based in Calcutta, India and working internationally. A dancer-choreographer, arts writer, and curator-presenter, his scope of work spans practice, discourse, critique and management, and revolves around the central tenet of creating deep connections with and through the arts.
Lav Kanoi: researcher, performer and creative collaborator
Lav is an interdisciplinary academic currently undertaking doctoral research at Yale University jointly in the Department of Anthropology and the School of Environment. He is also drawn equally to text and performance, and has previously published creative and scholarly translations across classical and contemporary languages.
Vicky Long : researcher and creative collaborator
Vicky is a multi-disciplinary artist, interested in how cultural practice can affect and effect change. Her studio practice – studiolong.co.uk – is based in Vauxhall, London. It sets out to make surprising, life affirming work, creating installations, environments and telling stories in unusual spaces.
Maria Hadjimichael is a scholar – activist and a research fellow at the University of Cyprus focusing on the fields of political ecology (including urban), environmental politics and governance of the Commons. The main focus of her research are the sea and the coastline.