Mr. Mandeep Raikhy
Assistant Professor , School of Culture and Creative Expressions
Mandeep Raikhy is a dance practitioner with a particular interest in exploring the intersections between dance creation, performance, research and pedagogy. He began studying jazz at age 19 at the Danceworx, New Delhi, and his subsequent interest in contemporary dance took him to London where he completed a BA (Hons) in Dance Theatre at Laban. He undertook his first tour with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, London and has toured with their annual productions between 2005-09. He was also part of the company’s education team and has extensive teaching experience. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Philosophy from IGNOU.
Since 2010, Mandeep has created several dance works, notably Inhabited Geometry (2010), a male ant has straight antennae (2013) and Queen-size (2016). These works have travelled across the country and internationally over the years including Kampnagel, South Bank Centre and Singapore International Arts Festival. Since 2009, Mandeep is Managing Director at Gati Dance Forum, where he has worked to develop a supportive environment for contemporary dance in the country through projects as diverse as curriculum development, residencies, festivals, publications, pedagogical and advocacy initiatives.
- 2018:Mentor, Element Season #1, Dance Nucleus, Singapore
- 2018:Visiting Professor, Shiv Nadar University, Jan- April
- 2018:Co-curriculur Professor, Ashoka University, Jan- April
- 2009-present: Managing Director at Gati Dance Forum, New Delhi
Mentor, facilitator and teacher at Gati Summer Dance Residency, Dance Laboratory and Body Space Time
Director and Curator, IGNITE! Festival of Contemporary Dance
- 2008-present: Independent dance-maker. Created and toured with several works, including 3 full-length works: Queen-size (2016), a male ant has straight antennae (2013), and Inhabited Geometry (2010).
- 2009-10: Performer in Anusha Lall’s Tilt
- 2013-14: Fellow, ArtThink South Asia, with a secondment to H.Z.T and Uferstudios, Berlin and Trinity Laban, London.
- 2005-2009: Company Dancer, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, London.
- 2002-2005: Office Administrator (Part-time), Diva Entertainments, London.
- 2000-2002: Jazz Instructor and Repertory Dancer,
- The Danceworx Performing Arts Academy, New Delhi
- 2016 Queen-size (135 mins) As a response to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that criminalises homosexuality in India, Queen-size is a choreographic exploration that takes the form of a detailed study of the intimacy between two men. In deliberately making this encounter visible, it poses questions around spectatorship, privacy and dissent. The work travelled widely to various cities and towns across India in protest of the archaic law. Performed over 60 times in 25 cities across the world including Southbank Centre (London), Kampnagel (Hamburg), Attakkalari India Bienalle (Bangalore), International Theatre Festival of Kerala (Trissur) and many more.
- 2015 Angular Displacement (29 mins) A performance conceived by a preoccupation with analog technology, angular displacement is a formal investigation of the idea of rotation. The choreographer engenders the body as a mechanical device by mobilising a play of different joints and muscles as a source for movement. The piece invites the audience to discover human presence within an undulating series of automated, anatomical explorations.
- 2014 Roots and Routes (20 mins) This work was commissioned at the Asia Dance Workshop, South Korea. Focusing on the gait as a repository of cultural information and codes, the work aims to find various ways in which traditional movement systems can be deconstructed, rearranged, transformed and shared amongst dancers to create new vocabularies.
- 2013 a male ant has straight antennae (55 mins) a male ant has straight antennae is an ensemble dance piece that explores notions of masculinity through stereotypes, games, touch and relationships. Playing out polarities of masculinity in an arena-like preset, this piece challenges singular perspectives on the male body and its moorings. Performed at Singapore International Arts Festival, Kampnagel (Hamburg) and multiple venues in India.
- 2010 Inhabited Geometry (53 mins) Inhabited Geometry generates spaces that evoke both home and homeland, but which also make room for individuality, friction and conflict. The multimedia design compresses and layers the choreography using cinematic spaces, allowing the dancers to merge with the transient imagery and engage with the idea of ’home’ simultaneously as a tangible place and a place of dreams. Inspired by Gaston Bachelard's Poetics of Space, the piece uses Bharatanatyam as a metaphor for architectural spaces waiting to be inhabited. Performed in a 6- city tour in Switzerland as part of Steps Dance Festival and several venues across India.
- 2008 The Ghost Ship (19 mins) Based on Roland Barthes' A Lovers' Discourse, The Ghost Ship is a collaboration with choreographer Phil Sanger. Every contact is a festival not of the senses but of meaning. Every contact raises questions and the skin is asked to reply. Demons of anxiety, despair, jealousy, exclusion and desire are silenced by a motionless cradling, when everything- time, law, prohibition- is suspended. The lover's presence (or absence) triggers erratic shifts on the emotional tone scale of the other. The dancers' fragmented journey between despair and fulfillment runs through a landscape of dichotomies like rejection/ acceptance, control/ submission, dependency/ freedom, stillness/ chaos, abandonment/ union and hiding/revealing.
Selected Conference Presentations/ Residencies
- May 2018: Resident Artist, Kunstenartsfestivall
- March 2018: Moderator, Session: How we assert, resist and articulate Samabhavana Conference, Kolkata
- February 2017: Crossroads, Panelist: How to talk about what no one wants to talk about?
- March 2017: New Delhi,Panel member at the session on contemporary dance practice in India at Expressions an International Contemporary Dance Festival
- December 2016: Mumbai, Panel Member on a session on “Private Matters - Politics And Sexuality In Performance” organised by Godrej India Culture Lab
- December 2016: New Delhi, Panel Member on a session on “Dance Design: Understanding Choreography in Indian Dance” as part of Natya Ballet Dance Festival
- October 2016: New Delhi, A panel member on a session on “Activism and Sexuality in Performance” at Form Identity Dissent, a 3-day conference at IGNITE! Festival of Contemporary Dance
- June 2015: Shimla, Panel member at a Symposium on "Practices, Policies, Institutions: Presenting and Representing Indian Cultures" at Institute of Advanced Study
- April 2015:Mumbai, Panel member at a session on “Facilitating Supportive Environments for Dance” as part of Jugnee Contemporary Dance Festival
- April 2015:Pune, Presentation of work at a day-long seminar on education/ practice of Contemporary Dance in India at Prayatna Film & Dance Festival 2015
- July 2014: New Delhi, Presentation of work at the conference Roots Identity Modernity organized by NETPAC at Indian Council for Cultural Relations
- August 2013: Chennai, Presentation of paper at the session ‘Context, Commerce, Collaboration’ as part of PECDA seminar organized by Prakriti Foundation
"The performance, the mood, the sounds and smells, not to mention the light distilled through sheer goblets of water create an intimate groove in time where you smile and shiver, gaze and dive into the most personal and magical zone of two male lovers that also remind you of moments in your own sojourns into the realm of desire." Bangalore Mirror, 2017
“The queer gaze that the last moments of the performance successfully put forth unshackled the performance from its performativity by making it an act that we happened to encounter—we became watchers on the same ground as the performers." Sheetala Bhat, Ligament.in Vol 2 Issue 6 - An online magazine on contemporary movement arts
“Watching two men, two human beings enact an activity so natural, but otherwise taboo, might just be the show we require to question our own perception of sex, sexuality and gender.” Deborah Cornelious, The Hindu (9 December 2016)
a male ant has straight antennae
"Raikhy believes his job is to string together a narrative logic without telling the audience any one linear story through dance" Artists at Work, Live Mint, 2015
“... raises and responds to this question (of masculinity) far more effectively through movement than could be possible in words... enthralling piece!” Open Magazine, 2013
“... hard to let one's guard down while watching Mandeep Raikhy's mystifyingly named Male Ant!” Deccan Herald, 2015
“... one of the strongest and the wittiest works of the Dance Marathon...." Business Times, Singapore, 2015
“... Mandeep Raikhy excels in blurring traditional Indian dance styles with contemporary Western dance forms, taps on the classical vocabulary of Bharatanatyam and delves deeper into the study of the relationship between these two diametrically opposite styles of dance, bound by a slender thread.” BUZZ IN TOWN on Inhabited Geometry, 2011
June 2017: ‘Contemporary’ as a Lens of Criticality
Marg Foundation, Special Issue on Dance
May 2017: Feature: Dance Moments
Eastern Eye Asian Weekly Newspaper, UK
April 2013: Abstract Minds
Aalaap Magazine- Book III