Skip to content Skip to navigation

Experimental Dance Theater with Parijat Desai


A course for dancers, actors and theater designers to gain a multi-faceted immersion into the process of NYC-based experimental dance theater. Through studying dance and movement technique and a discussion of the themes of justLikeThat/Maya, a dance theater work by Parjiat Desai, students will engage ideas about the relationship between language and state power in a democracy, to research and generate dialogue, movement/gesture, song and dance. justLikeThat/Maya, which explores how news and official language obfuscates and disconnects us from lived reality is situated between experimental theater and dance, and was previewed in 2017 in at Harlem Stage. The piece is in part inspired by a Hindustan Times article about activist Sharmila Irom, who challenged India┬┐s Armed Forces Special Powers Act. (The AFSPA allows the army to attack civilians in the name of national security.) She also draws from George Orwell's essay "Politics of the English Language," and other sources of news-, or official-, or corporate-speak, to inquire into the way postcolonial English operates. nDuring Fall of 2018, Desai will be culminating development of an evening-length production, and with support from Center for Performance Research in Williamsburg, NY, collaborate with designers to create costume, set, and projection. Students, along with Desai and principle creative collaborators will delve into the development process and consider methods of creating experimental theater from a dance and chorographic perspective. nStudents will also have the opportunity to learn dance technique from Parijat Desai, India-born, New York-based choreographer who strives to cross boundaries of culture, identity, and nation through dance performance. She draws on contemporary dance, bharata natyam, theater and other forms to create hybrid movement languages.

Course ID: 
220 248
Satisfactory/No Credit