Campbelltown Arts Centre presents THE ASSEMBLY, a multifaceted performance from celebrated choreographer, Raghav Handa, in March 2024.
‘The Assembly – bastard of a place’ is a multifaceted performance work by Raghav Handa in collaboration with dance artists Victor Zarallo and Josh Freedman, sound artist James Brown, lighting designer Fausto Brusamolino, designer Isabel Hudson and dramaturg Vicki Van Hout.
Familial narratives are seamlessly woven into an abstract realm where the past and the future meet.
Raghav Handa’s grandfather’s regimental legacy serves as a compelling lens through which Queer culture is vividly expressed. This exciting new work examines the fragility of human existence through the incompatible meeting of memory and circumstance.
Handa, known for using dance as a vehicle to explore profound societal questions, shares his artistic vision for THE ASSEMBLY:
I use dance as a Trojan horse to delve deep into the big questions our society is facing with my artistic curiosity. The themes of power play, the expression of masculinity, time, and the concepts of right and wrong action are central to my exploration.
THE ASSEMBLY is more than a performance; it is a document of cultural perpetuity, a testament to Handa’s dedication to creating something new while preserving and evolving traditional practices.
Derived from the artist’s memory, THE ASSEMBLY promises a surrealist landscape filled with dynamic movement and sonic delights. With a choreographic style that deconstructs classical Indian Katak folk dance and indigenous contemporary dance techniques, Handa is developing a distinct Indian-Australian vernacular, unique to the Australian performance landscape.
Audiences will be taken on a journey that challenges traditional notions of masculinity.
Handa reflects on the implicit themes, stating:
The work straddles expressions of masculinity, exploring how men are together and what defines a man. It cuts close to the wire of what being masculine means in our society.
THE ASSEMBLY promises a unique utilisation of the space, creating different worlds that are rich with symbolism, imagery, and sound. Handa explains,
I work with a strong company of collaborators to create surreal spaces, drawing inspiration from my own memory, psychology, and vision of the future. The performance space becomes a canvas where we craft something extraordinary out of nothing.
Handa’s commitment to cultural responsibility and the continuation of traditional knowledge is evident in his work. He acknowledges the influence of choreographers like Vicki Van Hout, Marilyn Miller, Sue Healey, Martin del Amo, and Rakini Davey, expressing a hope that younger artists will stand on his shoulders in the future.
Mouna Zaylah, Acting Director, Campbelltown Arts Centre:
We are proud to present THE ASSEMBLY, a new and exciting work by Raghav Handa who is one of Australia’s leading choreographers and performer. In embracing the diverse narratives within the Campbelltown community, we aim to create an environment where performance becomes a powerful tool for connection and dialogue. We invite audiences to immerse themselves in a truly transformative experience that promises to push the boundaries of preconceived notions surrounding masculinity, power, and memory.
With three performances only, do not miss the opportunity to experience the extraordinary world of THE ASSEMBLY at Campbelltown Arts Centre this March.
Venue: Campbelltown Arts Centre
Date: 07- 09 Mar 2024
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