by Constanza Macras / Dorky Park at the Attakkalari India Dance Biennial 2015. The Past explores the art of memory, or ars memoriae, in which memories are, in particular, strongly associated with physical locations, rooms and architecture. The starting point is the city as a concrete geographical location, as an anchor for memory, a mental picture and a frame of mind.
In order to incorporate a city-specific slant to The Past, Macras undertook an in-depth exploration of Bangalore's past and present, so watch out for her choreographic interpretation of our City's memory.
What happens with our memories, what happens to those who are remembering when these physical places are destroyed? Macras talked to eyewitnesses who remember cities that no longer exist in the same form today.
The actions in the piece refer to the ancient techniques of ars memoriae, whereby in order to recall the thing to be remembered, we first have to find and organise our impressions. At the heart of this mnemonic technique is spatial orientation: how do we use rooms and places to remember?
The piece is the result of a close collaboration with Swiss/ Italian composer Oscar Bianchi, who composed music delving into collective and individual memory, and celebrates sound as a physical, sometimes, muscular place.
The Past explores architectonic places as narrative instruments of our history: in the rewriting of it, for overcoming the wounds of the past, and for understanding contemporary events (personal and global) as part of a constant cycle.