Other Places of Being
A digital collaboration from Belgian-based Sooraj Subramaniam and Kuala Lumpur-based January Low explores their parallel experiences of the Odissi Indian classical dance form. Created during global lockdown in an effort to overcome distance and despondency, Other Places of Being reveals the bridging power of social media and technology and the rekindling of a friendship made possible through dance.
Concept and Direction: Sooraj Subramaniam
Screenplay, Choreography, and Performance: January Low and Sooraj Subramaniam
Music Score (voice recordings, soundscape): January Low and Sooraj Subramaniam
Video Editing: Tom Decuyper and Sooraj Subramaniam
Sooraj Subramaniam is an Australian-Belgian dance artist of Malaysian-Indian heritage. His training in Bharatanatyam and Odissi began at Sutra Dance Theatre, Malaysia. In Australia he studied classical ballet with Stella Johnson, and later graduated from the Western Australian Academy for Performing Arts.
In the United Kingdom he worked primarily with SRISHTI, teaching and performing Bharatanatyam. He also toured internationally with Akademi, Balbir Singh Dance Company and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance. Whilst in London he also trained in Kathak with Urja Desai Thakore, adding to his varied vocabulary. Since moving to Belgium in 2012 Subramaniam has worked with independent choreographers Nicole Kohler, Kalpana Raghuraman, Seeta Patel and the Maghenta Collective. He continues to receive specialist training in Odissi with Madhavi Mudgal, Delhi, and since the global lockdown, virtually with Bijayini Satpathy, Bengaluru. Subramaniam’s first independent work, Nocturne (2011) showed at The Place Theatre, London. nimbus, his most recent solo premiered virtually at Sangam Festival, Melbourne, followed by screenings on online platforms by Maghenta and the India Dans Festival, Korzo Theatre, The Hague. Subramaniam situates his work in hyphenated identities, drawing heavily on poetic styles and choreographic templates from Indian dance, hinting at magical realism. He is currently investigating the intersections between Odissi and contemporary techniques with the aim to arrive at something personal and hybrid. He currently lives in Ghent, Belgium.