Ronita Mookerji
Ronita Mookerji at a performance.

Ronita was a part of the Attakkalari India Biennial 2011 opening performance as well as the “For Pina..” production performances in Ahmedabad and Bombay. She has performed parts of the production MeiDhwani in Kalinga Festival Bhuvaneshwar, 2012 and AdhaaraChakra in Park’s New Festival in Chennai.

She is a dedicated dance facilitator and is an integral part of Attakkalari’s education outreach programme. She leads classes in contemporary dance for students between the ages of five and twelve weekly at Attakkalari. She has also taught modules for children for Attakkalari’s Summer Camps as well as various schools and preschools in Contemporary and Creative dance. She has also started teaching Adults in Contemporary Dance vocabulary and dance fitness / body conditioning regularly as a part of the Education Outreach Programme in Attakkalari.

In February/March 2012, she spent more than a month in Japan with Dance Box’s residency Kobe – Maizuru Exchange Programme. This programme was implemented in cooperation with Art Theatre dB Kobe, Studio dB Kobe, and Maizuru RB (Yashima Art Port). As a choreographer, she is finding her voice – and the time in Japan afforded her the opportunity to showcase her solo – “For You, A Thousand Times Over” at the Kobe – Asia Contemporary Dance Festival. She collaborated with a local Japanese artist Keiko Yamaguchi to create “We Need the Heaters On”.

Watch “We Need the Heaters On” video here.

While in Japan, Ronita also conducted lecture demonstrations and workshops on Bharatanatyam for various art spaces and schools.

In the Attakkalari India Biennial 2013, she presented her solo “I See Dreams in Grey” for the South Asia Emerging Choreographer’s Platform – Platform 13 which was premiered in Prakriti Excellency in Contemporary Dance Awards, Chennai in 2012 and shortlisted for the purpose.

Watch “I See Dreams in Grey” video here.

Ronita Mookerji
Ronita at a performance.

She also collaborated with Rianto, an Indonesian Choreographer in his piece “Body Without Brain” for the Facets Choreography Residency in Attakkalari India Biennial 2013 and performed at the Alliance Francaise de Bangalore.

In October 2013, she was a part of the Young Choreographer’s Platform performance for the Prayana Festival organised by Attakkalari in Collaboration with Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata. Ronita has also done a duet with her colleague and Senior Dancer at Attakkalari, Di a Naidu called BARDO BEINGS that was staged at Prakriti Excellence in Contemporary Dance Awards in 2012, and Attakkalari India Biennial 2013, as well as the Prayana Dance Festival in Kolkata 2013. Exercpts of the piece have been performed in Kolkata too.

Watch “Bardo Beings” video here.

In September 2014, Ronita was selected as one of the three invited guest performers from India to dance in a Multi-Media Dance Production “BELLEVILLE” choreographed by Germany-based French choreographer Samir Akika in collaboration with THEATERBREMEN and THE GOETHE INSITUT (Germany).

Ronita Mookerji
Ronita in one of her performances.

The dance piece had incorporated three dancers from India, two from Russia and one from Lagos, Nigeria together with dancers from the collective THE UNUSUAL SYMPTOMS, all Germany based working for the Theater Bremen, Bremen, Germany. This dance production brings together dancers, actors, musicians, artistes from across the Globe. This collaborative work thrives on cultural exchange and connects tradition to modern, contemporary expression leading to a futuristic, urbanistic coexistence, dance language and story-telling.

“Belleville” is a neighbourhood of Paris, which was once an independent commune (municipality) annexed to the city of Paris, France in 1860. ‘Belleville’ literally means ‘Beautiful Town’, much in its sophistication. Historically, Belleville was a ‘working class’ neighbourhood, where immigrants like German Jews, Tunisian Jews, Spaniards, Algerians, etc. started settling down. This place became the harbour for several cultures and traditions, though it belonged to the lower rung of people who came in search of ‘home’. This area was also ignored during architectural modernisations and reparations in France during 1860/70s. Thus lies the irony of the much fabricated and sophisticated, dreamland of ‘Belleville’.

Today Belleville is a colourful multi-ethnic neighbourhood, where people of varied and mixed cultures co-exist and share space and their lives. This dance piece tries to derive its inspiration from this place where cultures meet and inter-connect. It’s a collage of images or photos of people living in different parts of the world and then putting it together in one space or one picture. It involves traditional, folk, street dance forms juxtaposed in a contemporary and rapidly progressing global scenario and dance vocabulary, where people are looking towards a “Belleville” future of peaceful co-existence.

The piece was premiered again on the 14th of January,2016 and was followed by seven more shows over a period of two months, January and February, 2016. While her stay in Germany,she along with 5 other dancers who came through the Goethe Institute were invited to create self-choreographies to perform for the ending ceremony of the Shwankhalle Theater Festival in 2015,an evening of guest dancers from Theater Bremen, “Let’s Call It A Night“.

Watch “Let’s Call It A Night“ video here.

Ronita Mookerji
Ronita performing in ‘Thinking Inside the Box’.

Ronita created her piece “Thinking Inside the Box” which was based on her present situation both physically and mentally in Germany during her stay for 6 months. It was about her internal conflict merged with her external state of mind in a country far away from hers and the neuromuscular reaction to her emotional state at that time,being translated into physical expression through contemporary dance vocabulary. She self explores her journey by delving deep into her internal conflicts between her mind and soul and the various effects of being in a different state of being in a different land from her own.The several conversations that take place and the several relationships that develop in the journey – the vast space of being and meeting people at different times yet feeling so confined,as if almost in a box. The Music was composed by Martin Bassman, a German musician who collects text from the dancer/dancers and then merges it with a music palate of words,electronics,histrionics and music from India. The dance piece involved three other dances, Keya Ann D’souza(India), Igor Anuitin (Russia) and Kseniya Zhukova( Russia) besides her own self.

Watch “Thinking Inside The Box” video here.

South Korea Project 2015

Ronita Mookerji
Ronita at the workshop in South Korea.

Ronita was selected to participate in the 2015 Asia Dance Workshop hosted by The Asia Culture Centre of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Republic of Korea as the 2015 project of the Asia Dance Committee. This Project was primarily called the “ASIA Superposition Showcase-Collaboration Project of Asia Dance Company”.

This is a part of the “International Exchange Network Project ” of the Asia Culture Centre in collaboration with the Korean National Contemporary Dance Company, that seeks to create the basis of an international network of art ommunities in Asia.

It was a six week residency, carried out by dancers from 14 Asian countries, and the inaugural of the Asia Dance Company, in connection with the opening of the ACC (Asia Culture Centre).

Ronita was selected by the Korean Choreographer Hwang Soo-Hyun with 4 other Asian dancers and 2 korean dancers to make a 45-minutes long experimental dance piece named “Hidden Connection” that Premiered in Gangdong Arts Centre Theatre Hangang, Seoul,South Korea on the 7th of October, 2015, followed by another show on the 8th of October, 2015.

Ronita Mookerji
Ronita at 2015 Asia Dance Workshop.

This was co-organised by SIDance Festival 2015 and Gangdong Arts Centre. The third and final performance for this year, 2015, was held in Asia Culture Centre Theater2 in Gwangju,South Korea as a -Performance celebrating the founding of the Asia Dance Company and the Opening of the Asia Culture Centre Theater 2. The aim of the project was to form productive discourses about the contemporariness of Asian art, beyond strengthening the cultural international network.