The Art of Defining Me
  • Seeta Patel and Kamala Devam
  • Experimental
  • 15:00 min
  • Best Experimental Film 2013



Experimental dance film opens door on industry stereotypes

Opening with a wave of colour, culture and just the right amount of intrigue, The Art of Defining Me dazzled audiences at Bournemouth South Asian Dance Summit last month and is now set to show London crowds just what being an artist really means.

Premiering in London at Rich Mix on June 11, the short film highlights how identity has become a commodity in our society. Filmmakers Seeta Patel, Kamala Devam and Maria Åkesson take a humorous look at how we as human beings are influenced by the expectations and definitions placed upon us.

“About a year ago over a coffee and cake, we exchanged stories about some of the ridiculous and tragic things we had experienced during our careers in the field of South Asian dance” says Patel, who together with Devam, made their directorial debuts on the project. “Wondering if we were the only ones suffering, we decided to talk to other artists in the field and realised ours weren’t the only misadventures out there. Knowing we were also complicit in these experiences, we wanted to explore the concept in different ways.”

But who boxes us into these definitions? Society, institutions, individuals or ourselves? And what happens when this box becomes our home?

Not just a simple retaliation to the pressure of expectation, the work observes and comments upon how we embody these expectations to find a certain safety and solace in them, almost enjoying them.

Patel and Devam join Maria Åkesson to create this three-part film combining dance, physical theatre, original script, set and sound design.

(Press Release, June 2013)