Manifesto of the Now: Acts of (non) Resistance

Manifesto of the Now is a performance project conceived, researched and developed by the Salzburg-based multidisciplinary artist and choreographer of Indian origin Nayana Keshava Bhat, in close collaboration with eight artists.

As a series of performative acts of resistance against fragmented perception, the work celebrates the whole that is greater than the sum of its parts through dance, music & poetry.

Motivation

Manifesto of the Now is an artistic stance against the perpetual pressure of productivity, mindless habituated behaviours, materialism, the increased speed of living – all of which cause a disconnect from the intrinsic value of things, rendering things and people “not enough”, therefore leaving us wanting “more”.

It deals with the questions ‘What does it mean to be present?, What if while chasing after a “perfect world”, I begin to take notice of the world I already live in? What if I choose to navigate through this world that I already inhabit with utmost awareness and care? And what if I begin to notice the interconnectedness of everything, in order to identify the power I have over the present moment? How will that influence the world I live in?’

“Manifesto of the Now” places the agency of change on the individual. It is a revolt against one’s own inner chains of mindlessness and stands for taking ownership. 

The intention is to exercise paying attention to what’s in front of us; slowing down, making aware choices, and thereby offering space for the manifestation of what already is within a performative practice, invoking to do the same in our daily life.

In this pursuit, art becomes the vehicle of our awareness, where the artists pause, observe, reflect upon, and lay bare their inner conditioning.

Diversity is a key factor in this work, not only social, sociological and ethnic, but also artistic diversity. By having diverse people work through their disciplines, we study and observe how the same questions can be understood and addressed in multiple approaches. This becomes a critical device in negotiating differences.

Performances at Sommerszene Festival 2024

Seven short solos and five group acts in various constellations inhabit four days of the Sommerszene Festival in Salzburg in diverse spaces such as the studio, connecting hallways, the theatre blackbox.

Each performance is an act of resistance, where the performers, dancers and musicians negotiate between the given choreographic structure and the imminent state of the body in relation to space and time.

With distinct physical and sensorial themes, the artists in each act examine the Now from a different point of view.

Dates 2024:

Mon 10th June 18:00
Tue 11th June 18:00

Salzburger Kunstverein

 

Thurs 13th June 18:00
Fr 14th June 18:00

Toihaus Theatre

Dates 2024:

Mon 10th June 18:00
Tue 11th June 18:00
at Salzburger Kunstverein

Thurs 13th June 18:00
Fr 14th June 18:00
at Toihaus Theatre

Credits:

Concept, choreographic research, artistic direction, lights:
Nayana Keshava Bhat

In close collaboration through research & performance:

Almut Kühne (Voice), András Meszerics (Dance), Chris Dahlgren (Viola da Gamba), Jordina Millà (Piano), Natalia Castaneira (Dance), Tomaž Simatović (Dance), Verena Pircher (Dance), & Peter Stamer (Dramaturgy)

Production assistance:
Olivia Mitterhuemer

Stage-design advice:
Yvonne Schäfer

Production:
INFLUX – Network for Dance, Theater & Performance

Co-production:
SZENE Salzburg

Cooperation & Venue Partner:
Salzburger Kunstverein

Technical support:
Toihaus Theater, Theater Bodi End Sole, Hallein

Photo credit:
Bernhard Müller

Funding support:
Stadt Salzburg, Land Salzburg, Bildrecht, Haus St. Benedikt

Special thanks to:
This project has been made possible through the generous support and contributions of several individuals throughout its research, creation and production stages (all the persons mentioned above + Mircea Sorin Albutiu, Agnes Distelberger, Angela Glechner, Mirela Baciak, Andrea Kahlhammer, Ursula Schwarz) & institutions (mentioned above + SUPER Initiative, Breloque Theater, Tatwerk Berlin, Berchtold Villa, oenm studio in 2022, 2023 & 2024.)

Explicit, heartfelt gratitude towards the collaborating artists for your persistent work as artists & human beings, your willingness to engage in full openness & without guarantees, your strong resistance to everything that is conformative and mindless, through all of which you breathe life into this work.

Performances at La Dama di Capestrano 2024

An extract of Manifesto of the Now will be shared at the multidisciplinary space La Dama di Capestrano in Italy and will consist of two parts.

PART 1:

The first part is a live performance by dancer Tomaž Simatović and musician Chris Dahlgren, performing an extract from the 4-hour long original work. In this extract, the performers present two performative manifestos – one, welcoming the audience to join in a world of imagination and phantasy. The other, inviting them to contemplate the nature of impermanence.

Through dance, poetry, and music improvised to the Haikus by Japanese poets Basho and Santoka Taneda, the two artists reclaim the time and space lost to an increasingly fast-paced life.

Dates:

Tue 2nd July 2024
Sun 7th July 2024
at Spazio d’Arte Multidisciplinare de “la Dama di Capestrano”

Duration: ca. 40 minutes
Language: English, Italian

Credits:

Concept, research, artistic direction: Nayana Keshava Bhat

Performance & co-creation: Chris Dahlgren (Viola da Gamba & Text), Tomaž Simatović (Dance & Text)

Dramaturgy: Peter Stamer

Produced by: INFLUX – Network for Dance, Theater & Performance

Co-production: SZENE Salzburg

Funded by: Land Salzburg, Stadt Salzburg, Bildrecht

Supported by: Toihaus Theater

PART 2:

The second part is a week-long exhibition consisting of some pictures and a film titled “Making of a Manifesto”, documented by Romanian filmmaker Mircea Sorin Albutiu and edited by Nayana Keshava Bhat, and the manifestos written by the eight participating artists.

The film, made in 2022 as a part of the artistic research for “Manifesto of the Now”, documents the creative processes of three improvisers, following the thread of an idea, an impulse and thereby unravelling a universe. Being authentic, transparent. In this process, the fragility, freedom and the constraints of improvisation are being reflected upon by the artists involved.

Dates:

2nd – 7th July 2024
at Spazio d’Arte Multidisciplinare de “la Dama di Capestrano”

Language: English (with Italian subtitles)

Credits:

Concept, artistic direction, editing: Nayana Keshava Bhat

Film and photographic documentation: Mircea Sorin Albutiu

Collaborating artists: Chris Dahlgren (Viola da Gamba), Verena Pircher (Dance & Text)

Produced by: INFLUX – Network for Dance, Theater & Performance

Funded by: Land Salzburg, Stadt Salzburg