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Outside In: Lecture Demonstration

by Christopher Gurusamy

Ānanda: Dance of Joy (2024) by Christopher Gurusamy. Photo - Natya Ink by Sudha.
6pm, Tues 23 July 2024
Sylvia Staehli Theatre

General Admission: FREE


Event Duration: 90 minutes

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Christopher Gurusamy explores the importance of finding one’s voice as an artist. He will share from his vast body of work, ranging from the foundational repertoire to his recent choreographic work to trace his journey with dance and creativity, which has often been from the perspective of an outsider looking in.

A vivacious and dynamic dancer and speaker, Christopher will draw on his years of learning, unlearning and refining his dance. The presentation will feature a selection of works to illustrate how his experiences and identity, particularly as an Australian-born dancer of mixed heritage have shaped his imagination, and how he increasingly taps into the world around him in his creative process.

Watch Christopher perform his critically acclaimed Ānanda: Dance of Joy at Dancehouse from 25 — 27 July.

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Christopher Gurusamy is a leading Bharatanatyam soloist, regarded as one of the trailblazers of his generation having performed extensively within India and globally. His dance is marked by adherence to the grammar of the form, strong aesthetics, and contemporary sensibilities. Christopher is recognised for reflecting fresh perspectives that both revisit and deconstruct the traditional repertoire, drawing from lived experiences in Australia and India.

Born and raised in Perth, Western Australia, Christopher moved to India at age 18, and is the first Australian to study at renowned dance and arts institution Kalakshetra. He trained at the college from 2005 to 2011 during the tenure of Leela Samson as Director, receiving his first-class post-graduate diploma. From 2012 to 2017, he performed, toured and worked as a principal dancer with Leela Samson’s acclaimed Spanda Dance Company. For the past decade, he has been working with eminent guru Bragha Bessell in abhinaya (emotive dance).

​A highly popular soloist, he performs annually in Chennai’s prestigious December Season including for the Madras Music Academy, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, and Narada Gana Sabha. He has been invited to speak and present his work at major conferences around the world.

He has received widespread critical acclaim including being named Best Dance of 2017 (New York Times), HCL Best Performer (Madras Music Academy, 2015) and was conferred the 2018 Kalavahini Fellowship for Choreography by leading dancer Malavika Sarukkai. Christopher has been commissioned to create several new works, including Dream in Sand, Sky and Sea (Natyarangam Festival, Narada Gana Sabha 2023). Since 2022, Christopher has been based between Sydney and Chennai.

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