Ainesh Madan stretches his creative limits with every one of his dance performance. The 26-year-old endeavours to create unique, yet meaningful pieces that incorporate various influences, including yoga, music, and even stand-up comedy.
Ainesh was a high-scoring science student and won the SIA scholarship in 2019 to pursue higher level science at Anderson Junior College. However, his love for dance took over. “Once I went to Bard College, I started discovering my artistic side. I dedicated the majority of my day in the studio, even when I was not in class. I made (choreographed/composed) a lot of work. Once the studios were closed, I would come back to my room and work on music.”
He recently premièred his first evening-length solo, titled Phantasies, as part of the University Settlement Guest Artist Series program in New York City for which he received the Emergency Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. “The performance is inspired by Sigmund Freud’s The Poet and Daydreaming. In it, he writes about the value of childish play in an adult world. With Phantasies, I channelise my dreams and ideas. I manifest through movement the dreams I have had since I was a child, and have not had the chance to live yet,” says Ainesh.
He adds that there are different sections within the performance.
For Ainesh, returning to India after spending eight years in New York has been an experience in itself. This finds expression in his new solo performance Impressions, which will be performed as part of The Platform Festival at Shoonya on September 22. “Impressions in its entirety, captures my perspective on India, from being away from the country for eight years and then returning after. In a way, it tries to capture the undercurrent of what has been going on in the country. It is composed of four solos. The first piece is called Prologue — the first solo I ever created, and I choreographed it during my second year at Bard. It is an introduction to India, through the eyes of an immigrant. The second piece is called Alien, which is about where displacement in geography and dislocation in the body meet. The third piece is currently titled Lith, which is a fictitious narrative about a young boy who chooses a certain destructive path (of becoming a terrorist), and where it leads him. Epilogue is a sincere attempt at representing the narrative and themes surrounding India that I have witnessed since the beginning of my return.”
Despite achieving so much at such a young age — he has taught at Gibney Dance (New York), for the Fluid program at Shoonya Center, and was a guest faculty at Bard College and has taught for the LVDS IJE program in 2017 — Ainesh says that sincerity must be at the heart of creating a work of art. “Whenever I have done anything for fame or recognition, the work hasn’t been great.” He advocates for art being an integral part of life. When I see people , doing their jobs, I wonder if they have an artistic practice. If people could take half an hour for a piece of movement, music, poetry, or anything even remotely artistic, what could that do for them?”Ainesh learnt the value of an artistic practice when he suffered a setback. “When I moved to New York City after college, I had to work to support myself. Some had a little to do with dance, and others nothing at all. My health suffered during this time. I later realised my physical and mental health were suffering because I had lost my artistic practice. Fortunately, with the support of my family, and friends involved within the Arts, I managed to find my practices. I resumed yoga, choreographing, journalling, and finding other people with common interests. I realised then how critical artistic outlets were.”