In 2023 Antonella Usai is part of the artist residency program activated by the MAO.
The three videos within the gallery show a documentation of some
performances of the festival DARBAR India in Dance held at MAO in 2014 and
curated by Antonella Usai, artist-in-residence for the two-year period 2022-24 within
the broader #MAOtempopresente programme.
In an attempt to recreate the original context that has always nurtured
ancient Indian choreographic traditions, the videos highlight the relationship
between performing arts and visual arts and, more generally, between
philosophical thought and body practice.
Classical Indian dance, as the scholar Kapila Vatsyayana clearly
underlines, represents a sort of “total art” in which not only theatre and
dance converge, but also literature, painting, sculpture and music.
Through the use of the body, performer Sangeeta Isvaran activates a new
reading and narration of some of the works in the collection, revisiting
ancestral topics, traditions and mythologies in a contemporary perspective.
Watch the videos in the galleries and the presentation video of the project in Italian Sign Language (LIS)
Antonella Usai is a dancer, performer, researcher and dance and yoga
teacher. Her main field of research-action is the relationship between art,
nature and systemic vision. Initially trained at the Farco-Morra school in
Turin, after winning numerous competitions, she began working with Italian and
European dance theater companies as a dancer, choreographer and assistant
director. Winner of a government scholarship, she graduated with honors from
the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts in Ahmedabad in India. After her graduation
she continued her training with the most renowned teachers of this discipline
becoming, among other things, the first non-Indian dancer engaged by the
prestigious Darpana Performing Group, performing all over India and in south east
Asia. Starting from her master’s degree in history of theater at the Turin University,
she continues to investigate how the perception and role of dance in general
and of Indian dance in particular, has changed, with specific references to
decolonial thought. She is a member of TRA, the Artistic Research Table of
Lavanderia a Vapore, and a consultant artist of Hangar Piemonte.She has collaborated with the MAO since its inauguration as a performer and
curator of innovative projects.
Sangeeta Isvaran is one of
the most important Bharatanatyam artist, expert in the expressive art of Abhinaya
as well as a research scholar and a social activist. She has been awarded with
the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar,the highest national
award for young dancers. She is founder of the Wind Dancers Trust, working in
marginalized, underprivileged communities using the arts in education,
empowerment and conflict resolution across 30 countries. She is a Fellow of the
International Institute of Conciliation, USA, and an Honorary Associate of the
Nature Conservation Foundation, India.
She brings through her performances, lectures and workshops a forgotten truth
about how we can relate to one another in a real and very honest way.