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Serendipity Arts Open Call: City as Stage

How can the performing arts—often involving presence, interaction, assembly—be taken out of auditoriums and amphitheatres in rarefied art districts, to engage with public spaces in the city? Performance (and its attendant kinetics) arguably has the potential to foster community or collectivity against the tide of civic planning that thwarts the potential of collision or contact through socially segregated spaces. How can sound, theatre, or movement think through, respond to, or reclaim what Jonathan Raban calls the “soft city” of aspiration, failure, delirium, fantasy? How can we tap into the performing arts’ potential to access certain dimensions of urban life in ways that stand to complicate and enrich our understanding of the multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multilingual fabric of Indian cities?

The course ‘City as Stage’ will present a series of interdisciplinary modules that probe the role of the performing arts in chronicling the present of India’s urban centres while reimagining and challenging the ways in which we have traditionally come together to experience, view, and consume art in the city. These online modules will serve as educational resources and practical guides for artists, researchers, architects, writers, journalists, designers, coders, et al, enabling them to respond to urban life and the complex sensorium it generates.

Each module will focus on a specific theme pertaining to the activation of public spaces in the city through dance, music, theatre, sound, and movement. These themes are designed to explore critical questions and challenges faced by those attempting to think through urban space with their research and/or practice.

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Enquiries about submissions should be directed to Serendipity Arts, please always refer to their website for complete details and information.

Please note, this opportunity is run by Serendipity Arts, not the Commonwealth Foundation.