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Bisakha Sarker blog The Road to Nine

AO Global : The Road to Nine – blogpost 1: Surprise

The Road to Nine

I have taken the first step of a journey that promises to be super exciting, passing through nine states of being, crisscrossing  time zones, sharing a ZOOM Screen with over sixty fellow travellers. 

An air of anticipation oozed out from the little square frames of the computer screen showing quickly-transformed bedrooms, sitting rooms, kitchens and studios in the background. This ten-week-long course is firmly rooted in the here and the now. It is not just a string of master classes in Navarasa. The aim goes beyond giving a fresh take on the nine emotions or ‘states of beingto equipping the artists with skills that are emerging as essential tools for artistic practices during the lockdowns and perhaps beyond'. 

As participants joined one after another, Aakash was there to greet them. What an interesting mix of participants of different ages and at different stages in their professional careers, entering from various parts of the world! The nine tutors who will be leading the sessions also came from different corners of the earth – a truly global initiative. It shows how new technology has shrunk the world and international collaborations have become the order of the day. This course will give young artists the courage, confidence and (the) contact(s) to aim high and dream big. The tutors introduced themselves with humility and mutual respect. This set the right tone for the practical sessions that followed. Aakash presented the course in a humble way, referring to it as a journey we travel together. 

We started with the exploration of the state ‘surprise’. Aakash presented some amazing images as an inspiration and to explain how he takes these images to generate movement motifs and choreography. It was followed by a contemporary exploration of the mood by contemporary dance artist Melissa Ugolini.

It is a very well-thought-through programme. Prior to attending the course the participants were given some preparatory materials, there were tasks during the sessions and homework to follow. Suddenly I found myself transported from a cold wintery Liverpool to a breakout room with a young artist from MUMBAI dancing well after midnight who wanted me to interpret my dance motif imagining I am performing it on a hot and sultry day.  

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