Photo: Malcolm Johnson

The process in making this work used the bold concept of the statement I am not an Indian dancer? and a single tree with branches growing out from it. It is a useful starting point to investigate what this means in the context of these two dancers:

Eliot Smith, grounded in the Martha Graham technique is a contemporary dancer, where a strong emphasis is placed on breath, contraction and the spine.

The other dancer Sooraj Subramaniam, trained in three Classical Indian dance styles: Bharata Natyam, Odissi and Kathak as well as contemporary.

And the questions which emerge from bringing the two together are:

Is it possible for contemporary dance to be understood, interpreted and translated through Indian dance?

Can a contemporary dancer go deeper into his or her own identity, body and art form through experiencing how an Indian dancer makes sense of his or her dance?

What do they share in common? – is this a duet, two solos or just one dancer?