Review by Heather Desaulniers
Performer Aneesh Seth sat in chair downstage left, facing the audience. While he stared intently to the front, three dancers ran into the space from the wings. His penetrating gaze continued as the trio danced slightly upstage of him. I wondered, was the dance a representation of his thoughts? About two-thirds of the way through the piece, Seth broke his silence and repeated a single question over and over, “Are you here?” Presumably in response, another dancer entered and added a new choreographic language to the scene. The container was shifting, evolving and as the piece concluded, it remained in this state of flux. This was Kaveri Seth’s Good.Talking 2.0, an examination of duality told through an interdisciplinary lens. With text, classical Indian dance and contemporary movement, Seth contemplated how one navigates seemingly disparate parts of their identity and how in reality, the space between those parts is extremely porous.
While Good.Talking 2.0 communicates a deeply personal journey, its highly accessible narrative also has the capacity to speak to a wider audience. Most people can relate to the independent/interdependent message that Seth is sharing - two parts of the self that appear separate, yet are somehow being pulled towards each other. These distinct, yet connected parts were aptly echoed through Seth’s two chosen dance forms. Each made its own statement (the independence) but there was also choreographic tissue connecting the two styles of movement (the interdependence). This uniting fiber was Seth’s choreographic specificity and defined precision. In the contemporary sequences, this was particularly realized in the arm, hand and finger positions, and in the Indian dance phrases, with footwork patterns, fast pirouettes and facial expressions.