REPERTOIRE SIDI LARBI CHERKAOUI/DAMIEN JALET – BABEL(words)
by NAVALA ‘NIKU’ CHAUDHARI & SANDRA DELGADILLO PORCEL
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet joined forces with visual artist Antony Gormley to create Babel(words), a dance performance that explores language and its relationship with nationhood, identity and religion. Taking the tale of 'The Tower of Babel' as its starting point, Gormley's 5 huge 3-dimensional frames hint at a nameless intersection in a faceless city near the borders that define a no man's land. We watch as the action flows from private to public, intimacy to extroversion, and the individual to the collective – while choices of faith, space and community are made and we are reminded that to some the tale of Babel represents the gates to enlightenment, to others - chaos, confusion and conflict.
Navala 'Niku' Chaudhari, originally from London, works internationally as a dance performer, teacher and choreographer. She began her training in Shaolin Kung Fu (1987-1997) and completed her professional dance training at the NSCD graduating with a BPA Honours in 2002. Engaged in the contemporary dance field for the last 15 years she has worked with Andre Gingras, Bawren Tavaziva, Shobana Jeyasingh, Akram Khan, New Movement Collective, Hussein Chalayan and Union Dance amongst others. From 2007-2010 she worked with Company Decalage as co- director and made works in collaboration “Appel” and “Breaking Point”. In 2009 she made “Amaranthine” with Kevin Edward Turner (Company Chameleon) and was awarded the Choreodrome scholarship programme to research and develop her own work. Since 2008 Navala has worked extensively with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in Belgium as an assistant, teacher and performer and joined him with his company Eastman, with the creation of "Babel(words)" co - choreography Damien Jalet in 2010. Other productions she has collaborated on include “Puz/zle” and “Sin” co - choreography Damien Jalet, as part of 4D, allowing her to perform on some of the most prestigious stages across the globe. She has acted as Larbi’s choreographic assistant for the feature film “Anna Karenina” and theatre play “A season in the Congo” both directed by Joe Wright, working as a movement director with leading actors as well as featuring as a dancer in the movie. She was also assistant movement director for “Hamlet” directed by Lyndsey Turner at the Barbican theatre. She continues to teach worldwide at major dance institutions and professional dance companies including Akram Khan Company, The Place (London), Skanes Dansteater (Sweden), New Zealand School of Dance, Artesis University College of Antwerp, where the company Eastman is based, and the National Youth Dance Company, where she acted as assistant choreographer/mentor/rehearsal director for the tour of the new production choreographed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui entitled "Frame[d]". Most recently she was invited to perform "Les Indes Galantes" and feature in the remake of the 1970’s movie "Suspiria" directed by Luca Guadagnino and choreographed by Damien Jalet.
Sandra Delgadillo-Porcel was born in 1982 in Belgium. She grew up in Edegem, where her parents operated a gym. They taught Korean taekwondo, so Sandra got acquainted with martial arts from an early age on. At age 12 she started studying capoeira Angola and later hip hop and breakdance. After secondary school, she studied dance at HID in Lier. During the first year of her training she toured with Ultima Vez "Scratching The Inner Fields” and was understudy with Dansgroep Krisztina De Châtel. At school she was encouraged to choreograph by Marie De Corte and she met choreographers like Iris Bouche, Marion Ballester, Ann Van den Broek, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui... with whom she would later collaborate. She graduated in 2004 with a final stage in Paris, invited by AOXOA Company. Since then, she has worked with Amgod amongst others and has put on her own projects for Villanella and fABULEUS. In 2015 she received support from Kunsten en Erfgoed- Vlaamse Gemeenschap for an artistic residency in Isola Comacina, Italy and in 2016 in Cité des Arts Paris, where she works on her own performances. She travels whenever she can. Because she grew up in Europe, but has Bolivian roots, she is open to the world and was curious to discover capoeira in Brazil, reggae in Jamaica, break dance in New York, the culture of her native Bolivia, salsa in Cuba... Through her father, who, as a doctor, specialized in homeopathy and acupuncture, she became fascinated with natural remedies and the (healing) power of nature and the human body itself. This prompted her to open an exotic cocktail bar and world kitchen in Antwerp in 2008, Mama Matrea. Furthermore, she teaches and leads workshops for Musica, impulscentrum voor experimentele muziek, Neerpelt; Artesis, Antwerp; De Kunsthumaniora, Wilrijk; University of Dance, Havana, Cuba; Dansschool Arlekino; "HETSTEEN" & "De Stal" - Het Paleis, Antwerp; Opera de Lille; Codarts, Rotterdam; Carte Blanche-Antwerp & Menagerie de Verre, Paris. She also gives movement advise for theater companies and frequently develops new concepts for service training in dance and music for Musica. In 2014 she founded “De Dansfabriek”, a school for contemporary dance for children age 3+. With Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui she worked together for the show “Babel(words)“.