In |Expiration, is a highly rhythmic dance-theater performance that investigates issues of personal justice and identity, the imperative of breath, and the repercussions of race-fueled violence.  The choreography features a hybrid movement vocabulary including South Asian dance forms Bharatanatyam and Kathak, in dialog with the rhythms, isolations and punctuations of both Tap and Jazz.  Live text, stirring vocalizations and contrapuntal rhythmic-breathing are layered into and over the movement with twin-like precision by dancer/performers Sheetal Gandhi and Ulka Mohanty, who are accompanied by Mark Gutierrez on the upright and electric bass. These live musical elements are seamlessly integrated into an enveloping sound-score by Derrick Spiva and Ian Smith.

Excerpt: 4:32 minutes
Full-length: 35 minutes

Concept and Direction:
Sheetal Gandhi

Choreography and Performance:
Sheetal Gandhi and Ulka Mohanty

Derrick Spiva and Ian Smith

Lighting Design:
Tony Shayne

CD Playback with live vocals;
REQUIRES TWO (2) LAVALIER MICROPHONES (element threaded through hair).
LIVE MUSIC: one musician on electric and stand-up bass.

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“Steadfast and supple, the piece is borne by terrific physical force: neat turns and brave accelerations of body and voice feel to do as much direct transmission of meaning as the nimble rhetoric and storytelling.”

- Jean Lenihan, Fresh Pencil

“Part Stephen Hawking, part yogi and all feminist attitude…Feeling safe is not part of the illuminating, ‘In|Expiration.’

- Victoria Looseleaf; Fjord Review

“Not a line of speech, nor a punctuating stomp is ever out of place...They whirl and spin in perfection unison, like effortlessly synced electrons circling within a microcosmic atom.

- Christina Campodonico; Medium

Gandhi is adept in bringing large subjects of the cosmos, breath and matter and making them live, visually accessible actions...Using breathing as sound and conjuring Prana... the dancers managed to project a palpable passion and energy into the theater that was undeniably genuine and therapeutic. Sheetal Gandhi is at the forefront of the movement of artist practitioner as activist.

- The Dance Enthusiast

“Sheetal Gandhi and Ulka Mohanty can act, dance and verbalize so effortlessly that the seamless dualities of themselves as speakers and dancers literally became conjoined like Siamese twins or as a spiritual guide like Vishnu with multiple faces and voices.  I am not usually a follower, but I would follow Gandhi and Mohanty

- The Dance Enthusiast

“Alternating between stinging sighs and sucking gasps, Gandhi and Mohanty, as if under a telepathic spell seem to catch each other’s breath, creating an intricate harmony of respiratory rhythms. The only words that make it out of their virtuosic windpipes are “I can’t breathe,” echoing the final words of Eric Garner. The breathless statement leaves its mark on the night, haunting every eye, pore, ear and mouth.

- Christina Campodonico; Medium

Here...are Eric Garner’s last words, made palpable, made into art, the politics of dance, the politics of the body. Indeed, it is almost too much to bear.  But bear we must, as a collective sense of mourning stuns, with the healing power of art the last vestige of hope we cling to.

- Victoria Looseleaf; Fjord Review

What Would Gandhi Do?

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