Performance: Chaand (moon): the reflection of a wish – An ethno-contemporary journey

Choreographer / Director / Mentor / Video Montage: Sashar Zarif
Performers / Soundscore: Tanushree Chatterjee(India), Srabasti Ghosh(India), Durga Madher(India), Sumedha Bhattacharya(India), Arunima Dutta(India), Srimayee Chatterjee(India), Sandhya Karmakar(India), Jhuma Das(India), Pritha De(India), Sukanya Das(India), Sneha Anandan(India), Wei Ming Pak(Hong-Kong), Farhad Ahmed Shamim(Bangladesh), Yasin Arafat(Bangladesh), Maria Farih Upama(Bangladesh), Brishti Bepari(Bangladesh), Shovan Das(Bangladesh), Hasan Ishtiaque Imran(Bangladesh), Kanika Baidya(Bangladesh)
Videographers: Sashar Zarif & Sumedha Bhattacharya(India)
Video Editing: Manuel Garcia
Music Composition & Soloist: Tanushree Chatterjee

Artist’s Statement: This video will discuss the process of negotiating political, social, and personal identity through the exploration of memories embedded in traditional stories/poetry, lullabies, and body vocabularies. It will consider these practices’ connection to life and the natural world in the context of the creative process of Chaand (moon) which emerged through the WDAAP’s 2019 Choreolab in Cox’s Bazzar. During the creation of Chaand, Sashar Zarif, Choreolab’s mentor-choreographer used his process-oriented laboratory practice called Moving Memories, which considers how body, mind, and emotional memories are intertwined as well as connected to media such as dance, words, and music, respectively. This video highlights Chaand’s creative process and examines how the notions of preservation and modernization are articulated, by whom and for what purposes, to reveal in what circumstances contemporization could lead to positive transformation and empowerment in an ever-shifting world.

Choreolab organized by WDA-Aisa Pacific: The mandate of this Choreolab was to foster the development of dance practice through research, education and creation in order to support a group of 19 young dance and music artists from across Asia Pacific in their journey of professional development: The project focused on traditional material in order to explore how contemporary creations can maintain their cultural, social and environmental integrity. The project was inspired by Central Asian Shamanic practices that aim to connect the body to the spirit world through a healthy relationship with nature.

Ocean Dance Festival, Bangladesh is a yearly event organized by Sadhona Cultural Center with Dr. Lubna Marium as the main organizer. In the year 2019, this event observed a 15 days choreolab in Cox’s Bazaar Bangladesh where selected 19 dancers were invited from all over the world.

Sashar Zarif is an internationally renowned multi-disciplinary performing artist, educator, and researcher whose artistic practice invites a convergence of creative and cultural perspectives.  He has developed a dance form he calls Dance of Mugham, a system of dance, music, and storytelling inspired by Sufi and Shamanic ritualistic practices of Islamic Societies, in particular, Western and Central Asia, and a mature expression of his artistic investigation and practice. Zarif’s creative approach is called Moving Memories – Living Stories; a signifier for the in-depth study of memory that is a foundation of his practice. For the past  28 years, he has toured in over forty countries across the continents, promoting cultural dialogue through intensive fieldwork, residencies, performances, and creative collaborations.  In 2012, Zarif was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He was a part-time faculty at York University-Dance Department (2004-2017).

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