Project Description

Philosophical Enactment 1 (2018)

“But what does it mean?” is perhaps the most often heard response to dance that doesn’t in itself propose meaning.

Some years ago, in a text, visual art curator Zasha Colah wrote: “Watching Chettur’s works, the complexity of an imaginary of the present moment becomes palpable to ourselves. In this, Chettur’s work is a new form of philosophy that starts from the knowledge of ideas, to an intense description of them, becoming philosophical enactments.”

The project Philosophical enactment 1, began with readings of reviews written about my work over the last twenty years, and a feeling that dance viewers struggled with the dense, abstract nature of my form. Around this time, I began a conversation with Aveek Sen, a writer well known in India for his writing on photography and visual art. A mutual interest in evolving a script, that could perhaps articulate the physical procedures, and ephemeral moments that constitute the material of my dance practice, developed.

The ‘body’ of the work imagines layers of circles and arcs around a central axis. These rotational movement possibilities are used at times directionally, allowing the body to move, at times in opposition bringing the body to a dynamic stop.

Set to a sound score by Maarten Visser, that proposes gentle shifts in temporality, Philosophical enactments1 plays with a ceaseless motorical imagination of the body’s capacity to expand and retreat.

Sound and text are layered to ‘describe’ movement, and at times are described by movement. Weaving textual images both literal and propositional allowing the audience to find multiple entry points and perspectives.

Philosophical enactment 1 is a dancer and writer in search of form. An articulation of inarticulable, a questioning of the very question: “What does it mean?”

Duration: 27 minutes.


Choreography and dance: Padmini Chettur
Music: Maarten Visser
Text and voice: Aveek Sen
Thanks to : Anandam Dancetheatre