Beautiful Thing 2

`Beautiful thing 2′ (2011) is a contemporary dance piece created and performed by Padmini Chettur ( – contemporary dance maker based in Chennai.

MusicMaarten Visser

Performer – Padmini Chettur

Watch Beautiful Thing 2 here –

(This video features a performance of the work at Singapore Arts Festival 2011)

A conversation of Padmini with Zasha Colah during Untitled Exhibition 1, curated by Clarkhouse Collective, can be found here at

Excerpts from the conversation –

“…we don’t have that discourse. See, we neither developed it within the country amongst our dance writers and there are – have been small attempts – I think, from critics in the West. But it’s always like they’re not sure; there’s some hesitancy and some fear of…it’s almost like…some critic wrote about me once – we’re not sure what part of her work comes from Bharatanatyam and what part doesn’t, so finally the work is an anthropology, at which point the festival director said – please give me an anthropology. But…so, people are confused. I think people don’t know enough to see that it’s clearly not Bharatanatyam; at the same time, they don’t know enough to see…even within India, I often get the question – have you ever learned Bharatanatyam? So – because I’ve moved so far – and, how does one describe this – twenty years of moving away from a starting point just like this – you know – I first did this, then I did that and one can’t keep describing this process. But, I mean for me it’s very clear, you know – what is Bharatanatyam in my work and what does it – and, but it’s very difficult, I think, for other people to see it.

It’s somewhere a lot to do with balance. And I use the word ‘balance’ in multiple ways. So there’s a way to observe particular balances in the space, which for me is a very important part of the vocabulary. But it’s so many things; I think you can choose every time what to focus on, you know, and I think – I’m quite okay with this. Sometimes, maybe for the first few minutes when the line starts, people try to see what is she doing, and then when you’ve done it already three times, then hopefully people will move, look around the body more, you know, and or like – there was this comment earlier, when I’ve drawn the curve from there to here (points to the start and end of the curve), every time we’re seeing the body differently which almost makes you feel the movement – of your space. So I think, I don’t ever decide how I want – as long as they watch and they – it’s not – for me the worst viewers are really the ones who can’t watch anything…” – Pamnini Chettur

Copyrights of photo and video – Padmini Chettur


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