18 Wooster Street
Deitch Projects presented Anjali, a one night performance by Sharmila Desai at 18 Wooster Street. Anjali is an Indian mudra (ritual hand gesture) that means ‘offering’. The theme of ‘offering’ as a thread between various devotional practices - be it yoga, Indian dance or tantra -- was the heart and inspiration of Anjali.
Anjali explored the theme of devotion through a live performance with tracks composed by French-Algerian DJ Cheb I Sabbah and accompanied by live South Indian percussionists Pirashanna Thevarajah and Vidwan R.N. Prakash from London’s Bharitya Vidya Bhavan.
Desai came from a maternal lineage of Indian dancers, most notably her great aunt Menaka and her grandmother Hima Devi who were legendary exponents of dance. Similar to her ancestors in pushing traditional forms of movement and art, Desai intermingled martial art, yoga, and Indian dance to investigate the ways in which the body could be used to question traditional notions of femininity.
Using the vocabulary of various age-old Indian forms of movement, Desai created her own language of expression. Her performances were not only formed by her artistic vision, but also by her progression and commitment to her various practices. The beauty of Anjali was found in Desai’s ability to combine ancient practices into a performance that was not only contemporary, but also seemingly timeless.
As a young girl, Desai practiced classical Indian dance and was then introduced to yoga asana. She embraced the daily discipline in dance, which later led to her concentration in yoga. She became more interested in the root of Indian movement and began to experiment with these forms.
Desai performed Anjali in October at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London – a week-long production of live performance, music, and community workshops. Other performances included the Tibetan Peace Garden Benefit and Mediatheque at Central Saint Martins in England.
March 8 - 11, 2018
We will present a special solo project by the artist JR.
Image: JR, Migrants, Walking New York City, 2015
April - May 2018
18 Wooster Street
76 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
Monday – Friday
10 AM – 6 PM
Tuesday – Saturday
Noon – 6 PM
The gallery reopens with People in April 2018.
+1 (212) 343-7300
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