ROCKING THE BOAT

CELEBRATING QUEER CONTENT IN CANADIAN CONCERT DANCE

HARI

KRISHNAN

Indicative of Hari Krishnan’s desire to “turn everything on its head” is the orientation of his dance company’s name as it often appears on printed materials – upside down … a caution to expect the unexpected. In this case, the unexpected is dance that mixes Krishnan’s grounding in traditional and non-traditional forms of both South Asian and Western dance. Born and raised in Singapore, Krishnan moved to India as a teenager to train in dance before scholarly pursuits brought him first to Winnipeg in 1991 and later to Toronto. Director of inDANCE since 1999, he is also a professor of dance at Wesleyan University, Connecticut. Drawing on real life influences and his identity as an artist and gay man of colour, Krishnan works to disturb conventions assigned to gender, sexual identity and dance itself through his choreography.

Photo Credit (above): Hari Krishnan by Michael Slobodian

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  • Hari Krishnan section  - Live exhibition
  • Benjamin Landsberg in Hari Krishnan’s “Quicksand” (2011) / Photographer: Andrew Ribner
  • Rodney Lewis, Sze-Yang Ade-Lam, Paul Charbonneau, Hiroshi Miyamoto, Matthew Montgomery and Jelani Ade-Lam in Hari Krishnan’s “Quicksand” (2011) / Photographer: Andrew Ribner
  • Promotional Flyer for Fleck Dance Theatre season entitled "BOX", March 2010 / Hari Krishnan Portfolio, Dance Collection Danse
  • Hari Krishnan / Photo: Michael Slobodian

 

MEA CULPA

Mea Culpa is my yielding to a satirical, subversive essay on cultural re-miss/appropriation inspired by a vintage photograph of American dance pioneer Ted Shawn’s 1926 work The Cosmic Dance of Siva.

An American contemporary dancer channels a wound-up straight-laced, plays-strictly-by-the-rules Wall Street banker who suffers an emotional, physical and spiritual breakdown while waiting impatiently for his delayed commuter train. Shedding his “bogus” persona, the “exuberant-gay-butterfly” emerges and celebrates his true core nature, demon-dancing on the subway platform like a myriad of semi-nude male Hindu gods.

Mea Culpa premiered as a commissioned work by Toronto Dance Theatre as part of the show 12 Solos on May 23, 2007 at the Winchester Street Theatre, Toronto.

– Hari Krishnan

Mea Culpa (2010 remount)
(
no sound)

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  • Choreography: Hari Krishnan
  • Dancer: Austin Diaz
  • Music: Rossini and Gowri Shankar
  • Lighting Design: Arun Srinivasan
  • Costume Design: Rex

 

  • Dance pioneer Ted Shawn in his work “Cosmic Dance of Siva” (1926) and inset Hari Krishnan, 2010 / Digital image provided courtesy of inDANCE
  • Austin Diaz in the 2010 remount of Hari Krishnan’s "Mea Culpa" (2007) / Photographer: Miles Brokenshire
  • Partial costume for Hari Krishnan’s "Mea Culpa" (2007), designs by Rex / Provided courtesy of inDANCE

 

I, CYCLOPS

I, Cyclops is an east-west mash-up of a slash art-fiction fantasy (“borrowed” from the Twilight, X-Men and Thor movies and the Supernatural TV series)!

The video excerpts in this exhibit portray a sacrilegious, hot and heavy one-night homo tryst between the three-eyed Hindu god Shiva and sexy James Marsden’s Cyclops character from the X-Men movie. I reveal vivid moments from my own tripolar dystopian universe, mirroring my artistic east-to-west passage via idol worshipping a go-go dancing Chris Hemsworth, with the Kamasutra “moves” of gods in gay porn pimped out in "Priape" S & M gear!

– Hari Krishnan

 

I, Cyclops (2013)

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  • Produced by: inDANCE
  • Choreography: Hari Krishnan
  • Music Composition: Niraj Chag
  • Visual Design: Boyd Bonitzke and Rex
  • Lighting Design: Arun Srinivasan
  • Costume Design: Rex
  • Dancers: Paul Charbonneau and Benjamin Landsberg

 

 

  • Influences for the creation of Hari Krishnan’s "I, Cyclops" (2013) / Provided courtesy of Hari Krishnan
  • Paul Charbonneau, Benjamin Landsberg and Hiroshi Miyamoto in Hari Krishnan’s “I, Cyclops” / Photo: Stephen De Las Heras
  • Promotional flyer for Hari Krishnan’s "I, Cyclops" (2013) / Hari Krishnan Portfolio, Dance Collection Danse

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© DANCE COLLECTION DANSE 2016