`Counter’ (2012) by Akila – contemporary dancer based in Chennai – keeps a geometric tension alive throughout the performance between the bodies of the co-dancers Akila and Aditi. Akila in this 15 minutes long piece plays with her movements with a weighty, mechanical grace, lines and angles. The piece develops through a continuous role-reversal of the two bodies.

The following video features a full-length performance of the piece at Alliance Francaise of Madras.

MusicMaarten Visser

Light – M. Natesh

Performers – Akila, Aditi Bheda

This video shows excerpts of the piece performed at Alliance Francaise of Madras – presented by Basement 21.

To start with it is a choreography of two separate entities countering each other with individual choices of sets of movements – emphasizing one and only one body part after another, thus also countering the integrity of one’s own body. But slowly they turn into a single torso, trying to separate away and in this process tugging the other along. For example, the right hand, in the process of trying to get away from the body through the right upper corner, pulls the left foot above the ground in perfect balance. In this case, as if just incidentally the right hand and the left foot happens to belong to two different bodies technically amalgamated into one but with a pillar of empty space in between dynamically framed by the body contours.

The composition, pacing up competing with the deceitfully (un)systematic rhythmic pattern created by Maarten Visser, is enhanced by the almost obsessive preciseness and sense of anatomy of each movement in both dancers.

Akila – also an accomplished vocalist – catches the dilemma between parallel interests, sometimes merging into one, often going their own way while connected within the same body of creativity.

Copyrights of photo and video – Akila


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