Darjeeling — Final year students of a hill’s college had a Fulbright scholar from U.S.A give ‘pathways’ — a life orientation proramme through performing arts.
Director of Folded Paper Dance and Theatre Limited and guest artist Dr Kanta Kochhar, Fulbright-Nehru Senior Scholar, affilitaed with the Madhavan Nayar Foundation, Kochi, India facilitated the workshop session 5 to 8 March 2018 with the third year students.
Fulbright-Nehru Awards enable the most outstanding academics and professionals in India and the U.S. to study, research and teach in the host country. Indian scholars are selected through a rigorous application and interview process.
The workshop focused on how performance like dance and theatre in its many forms—from ritual, classical, vernacular, social to the experimental—can act as a kinesthetically collaborative mode of experiencing, bonding, mapping, and transforming each other,” says Prof Kochhar.
“These undertakings can energize and transform our relationships with each other,” she says.
Dr Kochhar continues, “They [these undertakings] can also impact our experiences of urban spaces and the natural world across a range of site-specific locales, build greater cultural understanding, and generate exploratory spaces for change.”
“It was just awsome. The workshop helped me and friends to have confidence to project myself in public and be aware of those around me,” says one of the participants Rosabella Gurung from Sociology department.
In the concluding session the student teams are schedueld to show case their performances depicting ‘pathways’ to the future, on 8th March.
Dr Kochhar also conducted two short sessions on ‘performance and pedagogy” for faculty members to enable them to touch base in classroom situations.
Author of two books and many articles and a former editor of Theatre Topics Dr Kochhar’s work links dance and theatre research, workshop development, and performance production.
Dr Kochhar’s work blends artistic research, experimentation, storytelling, and a range of methods for linking spatial and mapping practices from design, architecture, and geography to new ways of making dance, theatre, and community performances.
She is scheduled to conduct similar programmes at Salesian College Siliguri campus for final year students.
Dr Kachhar is currently developing Traveling Architectures, (a Feature Grant, funded by Design Trust, Hong Kong), a series of site-specific performance and design projects, currently planned for Hong Kong, with subsequent phases planned for Kochi, India and elsewhere.