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Critical writing

2022 Art Writer’s Award winner Ranjana Dave on residency at Villa Sträuli

Cover of Improvised Futures: Encountering the Body in Performance. Courtesy Ranjana Dave

Ranjana Dave
Photo credit: Raj Das

Ranjana Dave is an artist and writer. Her practice, emerging from her movement training in Odissi and her writing and research, unfolds at the intersection of text and movement. She is the editor of Improvised Futures: Encountering the Body in Performance (Tulika Books/West Heavens, 2021). Recent performance work includes Age Sex Location (asl), 2020. Ranjana was programmes director at Gati Dance Forum, where she initiated the annual journal, Indent. She developed a curriculum for a master’s programme in dance practice with colleagues at Gati, and taught on the MA Performance Practice (Dance) programme at Ambedkar University Delhi. She has also taught at Ashoka University. Her writing has appeared in Firstpost, The Hindu, Scroll, Time Out, Asian Age, Indian Express, and Marg Magazine, among other publications.

Ranjana Dave is the recipient of the 2022 Art Writers’ Award, as part of which she will be on residency at Villa Sträuli.

Ranjana’s statement on her residency plans:

The way we move through the world is circumscribed by codes and shared understandings. Walk to the left. Don’t sit on the floor of the metro. Stand for the national anthem. How do we translate codes into actions? How do words shape the body in performance? During her residency, Ranjana will explore the relationship between spoken language and dance, with attention to practices of ‘translation’ as forms of improvisation that shape how we make meaning of codes.

Translation is an act of accrual – through multiple rewritings across millennia, between languages, across historical, social, political and cultural contexts, in the consolidated methodologies of generations of artists. Ranjana will situate her research in spaces of training, rehearsal and discourse, working with individual artists, collectives, and in pedagogical spaces in Switzerland, towards a research publication and workshop/s for artists.

Follow Ranjana on Instagram @ranjanadave
on Twitter @chaltipatang

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