#TGAM (The Gestures And Movements, March 31, 2018):
Does your neck hurt? Do you allow yourself to be moved? What is your relationship with gravity? Are ‘bodies moving in space’ the fundamental units of meaning? Do we shape the space around us geometrically? Is dance a way of generating numbers from the metaphysical space (…from the stars?)? Is our body, also, linear and planar? Is your body interconnected? Can you feel your fascia? Could gestures ‘disturb’ language? Is a static body always lifeless? Is movement (intention?) life, & is only displacement movement? Do notions of stability and movement go hand in hand? Do our thoughts change when we change our posture? How articulate is your torso? How universal are gestures and what they ‘signify’? How do factors such as climate, culture, technology, art, & division-of-labour enter our movements? How much of the space around you is yours? Do you like being touched? How does language enter us, & are gestures a language of some sort? ‘Where’ do you put your accents? Is it difficult to move slowly? What is the future of social awkwardness? &, will we find ways to be more 3-dimensional in the future? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions using concepts from literary studies (Dr. Arka Chattopadhyay, IIT Gandhinagar, Gandhinagar), dance (Debra McCall, Ross Institute, New York), & physiotherapy (Dr. Snigdha Mehta, Dr. Snigdha Mehta’s Physiotherapy Centre, Mumbai).
SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TGAM show.
Dr. Arka Chattopadhyay (literary studies, theatre) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) at IIT Gandhinagar, Gandhinagar. He has also served as a guest faculty at Presidency University, Vidyasagar College, & Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata. He has a B.A. (2007) in English Literature from Presidency College, and M.A. (2009), & M.Phil. (2011) from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. He wrote his M.Phil. thesis on Samuel Beckett and Alain Badiou. He then finished his Ph.D. from the Writing and Society Research Centre, Western Sydney University (Australia), on Beckett and Lacanian psychoanalysis, under the supervision of Prof. Anthony Uhlmann and Dr. Alex Ling. His research interests are 20th century literature, modernism, postmodernism, modern theatre, European avant garde fiction, continental philosophy & psychoanalysis, Bengali vernacular literature & transnationalism, translation theory, modern poetry, and affect studies. Dr. Chattopadhyay has been published in books like ‘Deleuze and Beckett’, and in journals like Miranda, Textual Practice, S, Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui (SBT/A) and Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society. He has co-edited ‘Samuel Beckett and the Encounter of Philosophy and Literature’ and a Bengali critical compendium on the works of Nabarun Bhattacharya. He is the chief editor of the online literary journal Sanglap. He has also previously guest-edited the SBT/A issue on Samuel Beckett and the Extensions of the Mind. He is currently finishing his first monograph, ‘Beckett, Lacan and the Mathematical Writing of the Real’ (Bloomsbury, December 2018). He has also presented at conferences like NEMLA Conventions (2010, 2011), International Samuel Beckett Working Group (2012), and the Oxford Samuel Beckett: Debts and Legacies Symposium (2014). Dr. Chattpodhyay is also a translator, a story writer, and takes a keen interest in practising psychoanalysis.
Debra McCall (dance, dance theory) is a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA), choreographer, dance historian, and Director of Teacher Training at the Ross Institute, New York, USA. As Dean of Cultural History at Ross School, she oversaw the development of its global interdisciplinary Evolution of Conscious curriculum. Debra’s dance work has been performed throughout the US, Europe and Japan, including premieres at The Kitchen, Goethe-Institut, and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, as well as the first International Biennale de la Dance in Lyons, France. A recipient of several US National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowships, she is best known for her acclaimed reconstructions of the 1920’s Bauhaus Dances of Oskar Schlemmer. Working with the last surviving performer of these pieces, she travelled to East Germany to the Dessau Bauhaus and eventually rediscovered Schlemmer’s original notes and sketches. As a Rome Prize Fellow in Advanced Design at the American Academy in Rome, she researched ancient art in southern Italy and Egypt to create Psyche’s Last Task, based on the 2nd century CE Metamorphoses of Apuleius. She is also the recipient of two US National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, and the Fulbright Award from the US-India International Educational Foundation, for which she has documented dance reliefs at Thillai Nataraja temple in Chidambaram (Tamil Nadu), India. She is a graduate of Tufts University (B.S., Psychology), and New York University (M.A., Dance Education/Therapy). Debra has served on the faculties of NYU and Pratt Institute, founded Italy’s first dance therapy program for Art Therapy Italiana in Rome and Bologna, and is a Senior Research Associate at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, New York. Trained in classical ballet, she was fortunate to have studied with modern dance great Martha Graham, who proclaimed that “Movement never lies,” and “Wherever a dancer stands ready, that spot is holy ground.”.
Dr. Snigdha Mehta (physiotherapy) is a practicing physiotherapist, independently running her clinic since 1990 in Mumbai. She has also worked at KEM Hospital, Mumbai (1976-1979). She received her Bachelors in Physio Therapy (BPT) from GS Medical College, KEM Hospital, and then completed her Postgraduate degree from All India Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AIIPMER), Mumbai. She has also received advanced physiotherapy training from more than 30 international physiotherapy experts (such as Brian Mulligan, Paul Hodges, Shirley Sahrmann, Sarah Mottram, Christopher M. Powers, Michel Coppieters, & Michael Shacklock) on different aspects of physiotherapy. She is also a certified McKenzie therapist. Her specializations include orthopedic physiotherapy, neuro- musculo- skeletal physiotherapy, sports injuries and performance enhancement in sports, physiotherapy for women (pregnancy, post pregnancy, and pre & postnatal advice on labor and lactation), osteoporosis, urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, etc. She has also been trained in therapeutic yoga and clinical Pilates. She has been certified by American Physical Therapy Association in ‘Role of a Physical Therapist in Labor and Delivery’, and trains physiotherapists across the world. In 2001, Dr. Mehta went to 20 remote villages of Kutch to treat earthquake victims on behalf of Oxfam and Indian Association of Physiotherapists (IAP). She has conducted over 50 free physiotherapy camps in small towns and villages across India, & held over 25 seminars on fitness for women. She is an executive committee member of Society of Indian Physiotherapists (SIP). She was honoured by the Physiotherapy Private Practitioners’ Group ‘For her Untiring and Selfless Contribution to the Growth of the Group & Profession’. She is often invited to speak at National/International conferences & her articles and interviews have appeared in various newspapers/TV channels.
Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.
#TGAM mentions: Vitruvius, Albrecht Dürer, Oskar Schlemmer, Rudolf Laban, Edward T. Hall, Samuel Beckett, Jacques Lacan, Alan Lomax, Martha Graham, J. M. Coetzee, & Paul Auster, among others.