Hakanaï, a solo choreographic performance that unfolds through a series of images in motion, will be performed in the city. Linking digital and performing arts, this 40-minute spectacle will showcase what art and technology can do when they work hand-in-hand.
In Japanese, Hakanaï denotes that which is temporary and fragile, evanescent and transient, and in this case, something set between dreams and reality. It is a choreographic work in which a dancer gives life to a space somewhere between the borders of imagination and reality, through interactions with the images encountered. The images are on-stage animations that move in physical patterns according to the rhythm of the live sounds that is followed. The performance’s outcome is the revelation of a digital installation to its audience. In fact, directors Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne, who created the performance, describe their use of graphic elements in Hakanaï as digital writing with musicality.
While it has been performed by three female artistes since 2013, for the first time, Indian dancer Priyabrata Panigrahi has been trained by French dancer Virginie Barjonet to interpret this choreography. A trained contemporary dancer, choreographer and performing artiste from Bengaluru, Priyabrata says, “I didn’t quite understand when they explained it to me initially. It was only when we got to rehearsals that I realised I was going to be a part of something pathbreaking in the realm of arts.”
Speaking about the performance that is being presented by Prakriti Foundation in association with Alliance Française of Madras on January 28, Priyabrata says, “I’m going to be in a box on the stage and interacting with technology. There will be light, graphics and sounds. It’s like how we have dreams, one after the other, all of which eventually form a story.”
Priyabrata recently performed the act in Bengaluru. “It was magical. When we rehearsed, there was no box. So it was quite a challenge when I had to do it live the first time. As a dancer, you want to explore the entire space provided to you. But, when you’re put in a box, you are limited. You need to make do with whatever little space you have. That was a big challenge for me as a performing artiste,” says Priyabrata.
Interacting with a magical environment, Priyabrata is also acted upon by the moving images. He pushes, and lines fold; he whirls, and a curtain of light billows up; he crouches, and dots of light rain down.Boundaries are blurred as the real world intersects with the virtual one.
In a delicate dance between human effort and technology, Hakanaï uses technology to poetic effect. Using computing generated graphics, the abstract forms of objects, lines, points and letters become evocative worlds. “But it’s not a solo act per se. Although I’m the primary performer, there is someone who’s playing the music and another who manages the light. And how the three of us interact with each other, act and react to every action of one another is what creates this beautiful work of art,” finishes Priyabrata.