Decoding Memories Through Dance

Published: 05th February 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2015 11:53 PM   |  A+A-


QUEEN’S ROAD: Bengaluru plays host to the Asian premiere of Constanza Macras’s latest production,The Past. This was first performed in Germany in November 2014 and Bengaluru is the first country outside Germany to witness this memorable avant-garde dance theatre piece at the Attakkalari India Biennial, Asia’s seminal contemporary dance festival.

A spokesperson for The Past  states, “Memory is fragile. Garbage lasts forever. So we explore what happens with our memories, what happens to those who remember. Is memory a physical location, a room and architecture, a concrete geographical location, a mental picture, a frame of mind?”

In order to incorporate a city-specific slant to The Past, Macras undertook an in-depth exploration of Bengaluru’s past and present, so watch out for her choreographic interpretation of our city’s memories. The piece explores what happens to our memories when the physical places they inhabit are destroyed. Macras talked to eyewitnesses who remember cities that no longer exist in the same form today.

The actions in the piece refer to the ancient techniques of ars memoriae, whereby in order to recall the thing to be remembered, we first have to find and organise our impressions. At the heart of this mnemonic technique is spatial orientation: how do we use rooms and places to remember?

The piece is the result of a close collaboration with Swiss/ Italian composer Oscar Bianchi, who composed music delving into collective and individual memory, and celebrates sound as a physical, sometimes, muscular place.

The Past explores architectonic places as narrative instruments of our history: in the rewriting of it, for overcoming the wounds of the past, and for understanding contemporary events (personal and global) as part of a constant cycle.

Says Constanza Macras, internationally acclaimed choreographer, who is in the city for the premiere: “For me dance does not have to be beautiful and decoratively pleasing. I see dance as a political instrument, in the sense that it exposes the underlying problems of society.”

Event:  Asian premiere of  The Past by Constanza Macras/DorkyPark at the Attakkalari India Biennial Dance Theatre.

Date: Monday, February 9, 2015.

 Time: 7.30 p.m.

Duration: 100 minutes, Venue: Chowdiah Memorial Hall

Entry:`500/300/100 at Attakkalari and online at

For details, visit;

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