An Unfamiliar Face

An experimental solo dance performance - that explores the evolvement of one's identity in a new land.

Synopsis

Fleeing your country due to devastating circumstances such as war or violence in search of asylum can be one of the hardest things one faces in life. This uncertain journey often takes many years and at times an entire lifetime, and in some cases it costs you your life. Leaving the place you have called home and often the only place you have ever known can fill your identity and abode with many scars. This journey of fleeing your country and its consequences on one’s identity are often spoken in silence and written on water.

Ondru recently performed an intimate interpretation of the poem On my way to asylum, a personal journey brought to life through dance, music, poetry, vocals and sculpture. Following this, Ondru now presents An Unfamiliar Face - an experimental solo dance performance - that explores the evolvement of one's identity in a new land, after the arrival. If we are to use the analogy of a plant to one who flees from his or her country, it may read something like this:

"A plant is forcefully uprooted from its earth, a place where it belongs and is taken to the unknown and along an uncertain journey. This journey may take many years, and seasons will no longer matter. Along this journey, part of it dies without the soul of its native soil, its roots left open and exposed. It also begins to lose itself; the life of its senses. It then reaches a somewhat semi-permanent unknown, with and without will. Its roots are once again planted into the ground, in an unfamiliar place. Here it has two choices: one to live, the other to die. This plant will never be what it once was nor will it ever again belong to one place alone. It will not grow into the shape it would have assumed in its native soil. Its flowers may assume an unnatural colour, the leaves may take altered shapes, and the branches a distinct body. Here it takes a new form, an unfamiliar face, it adapts, it changes, it blooms, it fades, it survives…”.

Words by desh Balasubramaniam, Artistic Director

Project Team

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR & PRODUCER DESH BALASUBRAMANIAM
CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT BY RAGANI VELUSAMY, DESH BALASUBRAMANIAM & KATHLEEN GONZALEZ  
PERFORMANCE BY KATHLEEN GONZALEZ

Details of Performance

Friday, 20 May 2011, 7.30pm at the Kinfolk Cafe part of Human Rights Arts & Film Festival (HRAFF)

An Unfamiliar Face - flyer

Photography of Performance

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See more photos from the event at flikr logo; performance photography by Devika Bilimoria; image photography by Shane Lam; flyer designed by Fanny Dallenne

Related Pursuits 

Prior to this project, Ondru created On my way to asylum -  an intimate interpretation of the poem On my way to asylum, a personal journey brought to life through dance, music, poetry, vocals and sculpture.

Read on Ondru's Voice Publication - A CLASSICAL REFUGEE - PART 1 - Promised a better life, and so he carries his father on his back and holds his son by the hand.

Read on Ondru's Voice Publication - A CLASSICAL REFUGEE - PART 2 — we talk of fear “clouding” our judgement —

Partners

Logo of Human Rights Arts & Film Festival (HRAFF)     Kinfolk cafe logo