Other Places of Being (2021)
by Sooraj Subramaniam and January Low
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.
World premiere 1-15 November 2021 for BARYSHNIKOV ARTS CENTER Fall 2021 Digital Season.
"Other Places of Being happens to be about us; it touches on our isolation, yes, and looks at our relationship with dance across a screen, across time zones. But it was significant to us that our manner of working reflected our conditions, and that in working through the disquiet we cultivated quietude. Everything was filmed on our phones, only in the spaces we’d normally inhabit, edited by ourselves, respecting all constraints caused by the lockdowns, adjusting to each other’s schedules, moods, commitments. We’d check in with each other first as friends, and only then as colleagues." - Sooraj Subramaniam, Hollywood Soapbox interview. Read more here.
"Other Places of Being rises above most other digital performances with its thoughtful, extremely intentional use of technology to tell a story of dance - and two dancers - amidst the global pandemic. We loved the warm, intimate approach to the Odissi dance form, and how the lines between art and the everyday were blurred." - Sharmilla Ganesan & Bilqis Hijjas, BFM RADIO
Concept & direction: Sooraj Subramaniam
Commissioned by: BARYSHNIKOV ARTS CENTER
Screenplay, choreography, filming, soundscore & performance: January Low & Sooraj Subramaniam
Arasa (rhythmic) composition & recitation: Sooraj Subramaniam
Editing: Sooraj Subramaniam
Duration: 24 minutes
With thanks to: Bijayini Satpathy, Tom Decuyper, Raymond Siva, Meera Vijayan, Sudheesh Bhasi
Awards & Recognitions
WINNER Best Dance Film 2021 New Wave Short Film Festival, DE
Honorable Mention 2022 Cannes Short Film Festival, FR
Finalist 2021 Tokyo International Short Film Festival, JP
Official Selection 2022 Kalakari Film Festival, IN