Wellbeing Wednesday Writings with Mitul Sengupta & Shambik Ghose
This month we had the opportunity to connect with Speakers List members, Mitul Sengupta & Shambik Ghose.
Dr Mitul Sengupta is a Psychologist, Movement Therapist and Choreographer. As a kathak contemporary artist, she has collaborated and created works for several internationally renowned companies and presented her work in various world-renowned venues.
Sambik Ghose is a researcher, choreographer and artistic mentor who has had the privilege of sharing his expertise nationally and internationally in the domain of classical and contemporary artistic practices and performances for more than 15 years.
Together, they are the creators of Rhythmosaic School and Dance Institute.
- Tell us about your work with dancers.
We find our dancers and artists as embodied vessels. They are the ones who narrate, bear and breathe our stories, and we are privileged to work with them. Our work with the dancers is like travelling in the distant land of creative consciousness, where we together excavate opportunities of how the world shows up to us with its treasures to be viewed, perceived and understood from the locations where we never adventured before. As choreographers, pedagogues and mentors, we explore possibilities with the artists and dancers we work with to find moments and exciting re-visitation to our own pre-disposed bodily knowledge that awaits an awakening, a manifestation and an emergence to be re-claimed in its newest dispositions. We all arrive at this transcendence through a pedagogic paradigm, ‘Cursive Body’ – a contemporary movement language and pedagogic document that acknowledges the ancient wisdom of corporeality and embodied kinaesthetic utterance, and that attends and equally commits to the current motility of today’s artistic consciousness.
- How do Somatic Practices feature in your work with dancers?
Somatic submission is integral to our practice. The deep listening to the body that somatic practice proposes is at the heart of our embodied exploration. The somatic experience in our artistic articulation features as ‘Socratic maieutic’ proposition – where the dancer/artist is in constant dialogue with their corporeality and consciousness. This immersion in knowing and eventually disclosing of the embodied being that bears evidence of constant questioning of the body collapsing and converging to an ultimate surrender that ushers an ‘emergence’, a ‘becoming’ defines our somatic agreement.
- We understand that your work incorporates psychological principles. Can you tell us more about these approaches, and how they are of benefit to the dancers that you work with?
The profession we are in allows us to meet artists, dancers, performers and expressionists from eclectic situations of life. What we notice in today’s young talented artists, especially dancers/performers, is that they are in a perpetual dilemma with their confidence, belief, identity, knowing and eventually existence. They unintentionally, but always, find themselves in a space where crisis is the theme of the day. Our methods and strategies, through modes of psychological counselling, addresses these specific issues where these young souls are liberated and are free to breathe and live their artistic dreams. Our workshops are simple, we devise strategies and formats where, though modes of discussion, therapeutic movement explorations and empathetic recognition situations are created. Here, the expressions are given voices to reclaim what they recognise as lost forever. Our psychological counselling sessions for artists encourage them to activate skills of perceptual consciousness which recognise the overall placement of embodied cognition- an activity that allows us to interact with the world, knowledge, knowing and our existential identities as artists from the most exciting of locations. This in turn instils belief, self-confidence and a spirit of eternal commitment to the self.
- Recently, you have been involved in a collaboration with Phoenix Dance Theatre. Could you tell us more about your involvement in this project, and how you were able to apply key aspects of your work?
The work with Phoenix narrates the visceral yet poignant testimony of ‘Zhong Massacre’ and the British tyranny in the Indian Cellular Jail Kalapani, which got its entitlement as ‘Blackwaters’. Our roles in this project as choreographers were to weave in the emotional content of these two devastating events into a single fabric that screams silently though movement, music, expressions and experience. We were alert about the cultural disparities, the embodied knowing’s and experience we bring in as choreographers which assisted the creation to flourish itself as a hybrid embodied event that signifies the gruesome happenings and the wrongs of the time.
You can read more about our work Blackwaters with Phoenix Dance Theatre here – https://www.rhythmosaic.com/black-waters
- You both have very diverse and broad dance backgrounds. Combined, how do your experiences inform your work at Rhythmosaic?
As fortunately our experiences are diverse, its delicate at the same time, as it needs to be preserved, nurtured at the same time must be allowed to depart, re-locate and re-emerge. Our teachings and sharing of whatever little we know resides in the lines below, and we are unable to be more explicit than this …
“You led me to countless doors
I, opened them all, but the one
Where it was you”.
“Your knowledge is like a bow and an arrow,
You pull it back to the richness of traditions
And then set it free, as it flies and learns freedom”.