Experiential Education: Can it be an alternative to how we perform and perceive art?
by Sushmitha Sridhara on Sunday, January 25, 2015
- Session type
- Lightning Talk
- Technical level
To examine the meaning of art-performance, traditional art forms and the relevance of ‘performance’ to art practice. To also explore if Experiential Education (& its practice), can be a platform for reconstructing the meaning of art practice.
When you hear the word ‘classical dance’ what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I am guessing a majority of us will think of an auditorium, a well lit stage, talented dancers dressed in silk finery, a traditional decor and an idol of one of the many Hindu gods.
After about 15 years of art practice in this ‘traditional’ model, I began to question and quarrel with the way we construct the idea of a ‘performance’. It almost seems like ‘performance’ is one of the only ways of testing, appreciating and making meaning of dance, or for that matter even theatre. My discussion will be centered around looking at Experiential Learning and art-based facilitation from 2 perspectives: One as a means of redefining performance and two as a way of making the high & mighty art forms of dance and theatre available to any learner irrespective of their age, body type or prior initiation.
An unconventional mind
I am an experiential educator, theatre actor and a dancer who has had many a quarrels with her art. I currently teach English Literature at the undergraduate level at Jain University in Bangalore and I also teach Kannada to pre-schoolers using theatre and experiential techniques such as verbalization, voice acting, emotive learning & hand puppetry.
I have previously worked as a Radio Producer, an Instructional Designer and a Creative Producer, battling the unrest that comes with not knowing what exactly to pursue with passion, professionally. Then in 2014, I learned about Experiential Education and started to do a course in it, taught by one of the gods of Experiential Education, Mr.Vishwas Parchure. Experiential Education has changed my life and its goals. I now experiment using art-based learning techniques both in the classroom and to a small extent in the corporate space as well.