The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art and Gati Dance Forum conducted a conversation with filmmaker Saba Dewan as part of the Body Space Time Conversation Series on April 5, 2018 at the FICA Reading Room.

The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art, in collaboration with Gati Dance Forum, featured documentary filmmaker and activist Saba Dewan as part of the Body Space Time Conversations series, which is designed to invite a range of practitioners into the studio and engage them in a discussion about performance and its intersection with other disciplines. The series is part of BODY SPACE TIME, an ongoing 4-month certificate course in dance technique and choreography, running from Jan - May 2018 at Gati Dance Forum. It populates a context for the participants of the Body Space Time course, allowing them to engage with creative processes through their own practice and a wider dialogue. It also creates a space for practitioners to share their practice with the larger public, triggering a critical discourse that links various methodologies and forms.

Saba Dewan is a documentary film maker based in New Delhi, India. Her work has focused on communalism, gender, sexuality and culture. Her notable films include Dharmayuddha (Holy War, 1989), Nasoor (Festering Wound, 1991), Khel (The Play, 1994), Barf (Snow, 1997) and Sita’s Family (2001). For the past few years she has been working on a trilogy of films focusing on stigmatized women performers. Delhi –Mumbai – Delhi (2006) on the lives of bar dancers was the first film of the trilogy; the second being Naach (The Dance, 2008) that explores the lives of women who dance in rural fairs. The third and final film of the trilogy is The Other Song (2009) about the art and lifestyle of the tawaifs or courtesans and has been screened widely. Saba is at present working on a book that explores the social history of tawaifs in Banaras and its cultural hinterland of western Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh. The project has been supported by a fellowship from the New India Foundation. 

The Gati Dance Forum is a pioneering arts initiative that works in the field of contemporary dance. Founded in 2007, Gati has consistently searched for avenues to create a sustainable environment for the development of contemporary dance practice in the country through a body of pioneering and innovative projects that attempt to address areas as diverse as pedagogy, creation, research, outreach and arts advocacy and policy.