© 2015 Sheetal Gandhi
all rights reserved
In my work, I mix universal principles with local peculiarities to speak to what is generically human in us all. Another way of saying it is that I like to defamiliarize the familiar while finding common threads and roots. My interdisciplinary work - layering percussive rhythmic structures, poetic imagery, theatricality and live singing - is profoundly reflective of (and therefore relevant to) our complex, global, and multi-layered contemporary world. I tell stories, as anti-modern as it sounds. And I dance to the music. Not always, but enough to make you wonder what box I fit in.
In my work, as in my life, I deal with serious issues with a large dose of humor because I truly believe that humor, as a powerful survival mechanism, allows us to access our deepest emotions. I am passionate about facilitating the exchange of culture and art, and ultimately understanding across boundaries. My own boundaries have always been quite porous. I take pleasure in discovering more about myself by stretching into value systems and aesthetics that are outside of my current understanding. This openness gives me the opportunity to approach my work as a performer and choreographer from many different angles. It also grants me diversity in the types of artistic projects that I can contribute to.
The parallels that I find myself drawing between how I make work and how I live my life are also reflected in the history of India - a country that has been repeatedly invaded for over four thousand years. Each group of peoples penetrated India with their influence, resulting in a strong cultural synthesis. As India, (as I) move forward, embracing that which is new, her traditions change, but they are not lost. They (I) are adaptable and tolerant and this, I feel, is a key component in their (my) ability to survive.
“Through her tremendous level of craft and deep knowledge of both traditional and contemporary forms, she creates powerful performances that directly communicate her moving stories.”
George Lugg, Co-Director, ShowBox LA