Project Description

Beautiful Thing 1 (2009)

Beautiful Thing 1 can be seen as a construction in space, of time. The dancers are the discreet segments of a unique mathematical equation. An equation that is balanced, where disjointedness is sewn together. Blocks of movements are added, subtracted, multiplied until finally they arrive at meaning.

The ‘blocks’ or vocabulary of the work are randomly created by the dancers who were allotted a series of body parts. For instance – right shoulder, left hip, center, right shoulder connect, defining the space surrounding their bodies and simultaneously, a map inside their bodies. Time-based processes are applied to the ‘phrases’, as a way to experience the ‘slowing down, speeding up, starting or stopping of the movement. Speed is then merely relative, slow and fast co-dependent. Time is experienced, its passing felt, forcing the body to be light or heavy, determining whether the dancers walk or run. It is sometimes quiet, sometimes noisy.

Overlaying this mostly silent performance is a narrative which helps keep the dancers within the structure correctly. The dancers evolve a text of sound and words that fill the emptiness that dance invariable evokes. A text that tells us who they are, why they are there. A text that bridges the inaccessibility of movement with the clarity of word. Or is it the honesty of movement with the ambiguity of word? The beauty of small simple unwasteful things – economic and precise. To create a ‘beautiful thing’.

Duration : 70 minutes


Music – Maarten Visser
Literary consultant – Vivek Narayanan
Light – Jan Maerten
Technical support – Gilles Richards
Costumes – Vlls Designstudio, Padmini Chettur
Production – Phileas Productions
Co-production – Theatre de la ville, Paris; Szene Salzburb, Salzburg; India foundation for the Arts; Radialsystem , Berlin
Performers – Padmini Chettur, Preethi Athreya, Akila, Anoushka Kurien, Sujata Goel