The term “Natyasastra” may sound like a mouthful but for choreographer and dancer Tess de Quincey it’s the inspiration behind the latest instalment in her acclaimed Embrace series.

As artistic director of De Quincey Co, she uses a lot of body weather in her work, a training that proposes practical strategies to the body and mind. When she discovered Natyasastra, the cornerstone of traditional Indian arts, during a three month residency in Kolkata it was clear she needed to blend the two. “What I found most interesting was how to work with emotion and the eight emotional states,” she explains. “I thought it would be amazing to go back to Australia and refer to it more deeply.”

De Quincey will be performing alongside Maori dancer Victoria Hunt in a performance that sees the two women literally framed at the intersection of visual art, theatre, dance, music and installation. “We invite our audience to sit down and talk afterwards,” she continues. “When audiences listen to each other’s experience it’s very powerful. Our audience is free to weave the story which I think it’s very exciting. I want them to just experience emotion and see what happens as a result of that.”

Published in City News online and in print on Jul 30, 2012.


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