किन्नर's prakṛtiḥ, nṛtya, laya (2022 onwards)

In this pre-colonial feminist virtual world, Kinnari transforms into her name-sake, a mythologic feathered trans-human being, a warrioress defender of humanity. 

Dance is the ultimate expression of what nature contains. It predates history in its origin and yet it is a succinct reminder of what a civilisation has achieved in the particular direction that it has taken A single pose from a dance tells you of the notions of equilibrium in a culture: the body’s points of rest are in implicit conjunction with what the universe must constitute for it. 

 

Upon two basic poses and two basic movements, one can build up whole cybernetics that reveal the nervous system’s encoded signs of nature, freeing the body at once from pre-determined governance, to work with or against gravity, discovering new sources of speech.

- Kumar Shahani

Kinnari, and their male counterparts, Kinnara are half-bird-half-human beings, believed to live in the mythical realm of beyond the Himavanta forest (Himalayas), which is inaccessible for humans however they have the ability to enter the human realm. The Kinnaris are celestial musicians and dancers, who with their soft folk dance movements can halt or tremble the human realm - as mentioned in ancient Hindu and Buddhist texts.  

 

She breathes in a virtual world set in Himavanta and surrounded by turmeric mountains and rivers of healing properties in which our bodies can unravel the human and non-human interactions to build new worlds and stories. Its emerging cosmology evolves into a language that hovers between fiction and reality, in the threshold/liminal space. 

 

She, a dancer of the mythical realm, and I, a dancer of the human realm, harmonize through motion capture. The movements of our bodies in rhythm with each other, unifies the sacred order of the world. From the sound of the bells on her feet, the non-human-world emerges into the human-world that reverberates into the unrealized thought and song. 

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Scored by Aliyah Hussain from the soundtrack of ghungroo upon dancing

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Rhythm does not privilege singular ways of being but rather insists, in advance, that collaborative engagement is necessary to who and what we are. As we groove- even if alone- we collaborate with tunes, poetics, and styles, fusing ostensible disconnect between science (sound vibrations, physiological movements, flesh and blood) and narrative (musical score, lyric, cultural text). Rhythm is conceptualised as one way to invite collaborative worlding; rhythm lays bare not only emotions and imaginations but also their scientific underpinnings. 

 

 - Sylvia Wynter, ‘Jonkonnu in Jamaica’