Ranan is the company under which I produce much of my performance work. Co-founded in 2004 with close friend and colleague – kathak dancer, choreographer, teacher Debashree Bhattacharya – the company has seen a varied history.
Ranan began as a kathak-based performance company with the express desire to demystify classical dance and make it accessible and enjoyable for a range of audiences. Engaging with dancers, actors, movement artists, designers and more, our work creates connections between different performance languages keeping kathak as a core inspiration and impulse in our experiments.
The belief is that encounters with the arts enrich a society immeasurably, and should be an indispensable part of life, and the work explores and forges imaginative, practical and accessible ways of bringing art, artists and audiences closer together, and build bridges between people, experiences and ideas.
The Story So Far
Between 2004 to 2008, Debashree and I moved from project to project discovering ourselves as artists and experimenting with Ranan’s identity with a small group of co-artists. In 2008, we founded the Ranan Workspace – a ground floor premises in an apartment building in south Calcutta. This became the home for the Ranan Repertory of dancers and actors between 2008 and 2016.
The Ranan Repertory on tour
During this time Ranan was one of the most active groups in Calcutta with performances spanning critically acclaimed and experimental work centred in kathak, intensive training, and a variety of arts engagement programmes involving schools, rural communities and a range of partners in Calcutta, India and abroad.
The Ranan Workspace
Ranan Arts Engagement projects
While the repertory was dissolved in 2016, many of the erstwhile members now produce their own work, teach, and run their own organisations taking forward variously bits of the Ranan legacy they helped create. Ranan productions continue to tour, and the Ranan Workspace continues to be my creative den, hosts Debashree’s kathak classes (under her institution Brindar), offers space for other artists to create and teach in, and functions as the base for Pickle Factory Dance Foundation.
Ranan Repertory members over the years
Ahon Gooptu, Amlan Chaudhuri, Anubha Fatehpuria, Dana Roy, Debashree Bhattacharya, Debosmita Roy Choudhury, Indudipa Sinha, Jayati Chakraborty, Krishnendu Adhikari, Lav Kanoi, Rhea Dawn, Ruchira Das, Samila Bhattacharya, Shadab Kamal, Shataf Figar, Sohini Debnath, Vikram Iyengar