• Interruption

Basement 21 and artists from Wales


A project commissioned by Cardiff Dance Festival in collaboration with Basement 21

Friday 17 November in Cardiff city centre


8.30am — Central Market
12pm — ATRiuM, University of South Wales
3pm — Cardiff Central Library
4.15pm — Central Market

Interruption is part of India Wales, a season of artistic collaboration that is part of the UK India Year of Culture 2017.

This multi-disciplinary intervention has been created by lead practitioners Preethi Athreya, Padmini Chettur, Lauren Heckler, Siriol Joyner, Pravin Kannanur, Maarten Visser and Joanna Young, with Rosalind Hâf Brooks, Gareth Chambers, Robbert van Hulzen, Emma Jenkins, Jessica Lerner, Ashley John Long, Belinda Neave, Marega Palser, Beth Powlesland, Anushiye Yarnell and students from the University of South Wales.

With sincere thanks to Chapter, the University of South Wales, Emma Jenkins, Sami Hindmarsh, Croc, Lara Ward, Fieldwork, Cardiff City Council and all at Cardiff Market and Cardiff Central Library for making this happen.

Thank you to our funders, British Council and Wales Arts International, without whom Interruption would not be possible.

Preethi Athreya, Padmini Chettur and Siriol Joyner are leading Morning Class sessions as part of the artist development programme we're running with Groundwork Pro. Click here for details about dates, times and locations.

Biographies of lead practitioners

Basement 21 is a platform that presents the contemporary in art. It investigates contemporary thought and action by focusing not just on the artistic product but the artistic process and surrounding discourse. In this way, it aims to provide and allow a necessary context to be reconstructed. Basement 21 is run by practitioners, informed by practice, and therefore committed to enabling and strengthening the growth of contemporary arts practice.

Preethi Athreya

Chennai-based contemporary dancer and choreographer, Preethi Athreya trained in Bharatanatyam and later went on to do a postgraduate degree in Dance Studies at Laban Centre in London, 2001. Keenly conscious of her need to be defined not as the exotic other, she chose to continue her journey in her native Chennai.

Between 1999 and 2011, she worked with Padmini Chettur from where she inherited the evolving legacy of Chandralekha and a strong commitment to constantly redefine the Indian body.

Working within the Indian contemporary dance scene as a performer, choreographer and facilitator, Preethi belongs to a league of dance-makers in India today who use dance as an agent of change. Her initial training in Bharatanatyam and her subsequent training to unlearn the strictures that this classical form placed on the body can be traced across many of her works. Her art is process-driven in a manner that makes it evident within the structure of the works she creates.

Her recent ensemble work, The Jumping Project (2015), reflects an endeavour to find an honest body, possibly unbeautiful, but free of artifice.

Other works are Kamakshi (2003), Inhabit (2006), Porcelain (2007), Pillar to Post (2007), Sweet Sorrow (2010), Light Doesn’t Have Arms To Carry Us (2013), Anki Bunki Kata (2013), Across, Not Over (2014) and Conditions of Carriage (2015).

Padmini Chettur

Padmini Chettur began her contemporary dancer’s career in 1990 as a member of the troupe of Chandralekha, the radical Bharatanatyam modernist choreographer, whose own opus dealt primarily with deconstructing the form of Bharatanatyam. Breaking away from Chandralekha’s work in 2001, Padmini formed a practice that shifted the choreographic tradition to a minimalistic language. Deriving vocabularies from phenomenology, cultural studies, insect movements, astronomy, physiotherapy and sports, she created a visual language. One that bridges the boundaries of the stage. During her choreographic career she has collaborated with sculptors, light-artists, filmmakers, and sound-artists on Zasha Colah, Body Luggage

Padmini embarks on the research and development of each new work with a set of precisely articulated choreographic concerns. Her approach to movement research is almost scientific. Throughout her career there has been a deliberate concern with constantly refining form. The development of this concern yields a rich aesthetic that is far removed from any obvious Indian classical dance context. Early on in her journey as a dance-maker, Padmini took a very conscious decision not to train formally abroad. Her work is rooted in the cultural fabric of the uniquely engaged dance community of Chennai.

Pravin Kannanur

Pravin Kannanur is an artist working predominantly in Tamil theatre and the visual arts.

His early training in theatre was at the Theatre National de Strasbourg and the Theatre du Soleil, France. He worked and trained at the studio of abstractionist, Bhagwan S. Chavan.

Having directed Molieres’s Don Juan and Camus’ Caligula for experimental theatre group Koothu-p-pattarai in Chennai, Pravin went on to direct Veshakkaran (Moliere’s Tartuffe) and Pattam (Shakespeares’s Richard III) for Magic Lantern, a theatre group that believes in taking theatre to the people.

This engagement with the popular led him to direct large scale productions including Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan (historical play) and Bodhi Music’s Irandayirathil Oruvan (a musical extravaganza). This featured the musician Maarten Visser and was their first working encounter.

Pravin has had a long history of working with contemporary dance in Chennai. He has collaborated with dancer/choreographers Padmini Chettur and Preethi Athreya. Starting with Wings and Masks with Padmini, up to Conditions of Carriage with Preethi. He has worked in the capacities of director, dramaturg, technical director and performer.

Pravin Kannanur is a founding member of the theatre company Magic Lantern, the art collective Basement 21, and the India Theatre Forum. He strongly believes that artists have to nurture their eco-systems.

Maarten Visser

Between 1994 and 1998 Maarten Visser studied contemporary improvised music, saxophone, at the Brabants Conservatorium in the Netherlands. Following this he went to Chennai in India to study carnatic music.

In 2000 he begins a collaboration with choreographer Padmini Chettur, composing music for Segment of a Solo (2000), Fragility (2001), 3 Solos (2003), Paperdoll (2005), PUSHED (2006), Beautiful Thing 1 (2008), Beautiful Thing 2 (2011), Walldancing (2012), Varnam (3 channel video-installation, 2016), Varnam (stage performance 2017).

In 2008 he released a cd of saxophone solos. In the same year, starting an improvised trio, MV3, with Keith Peters and Jeoraj George. MV3 now plays all over India in festivals, clubs and corporate events .

In January 2011 Maarten organised a multi city gallery tour in India with his experimental trio oto.3, with Holger Jetter and Robbert van Hulzen.

In December 2012 Maarten and poet Vivek Narayanan premiere a collaborative work for saxophone and words. Maarten expands this work into an oto.3 project, the music from which was released in 2014.

Maarten has most recently composed new work for saxophone solo, part of an experimental production with visual artist Susmit Biswas, which premiered earlier in 2017.

Siriol Joyner

Siriol Joyner is a choreographer from Aberystwyth. She is obsessed with language and its relationship with dancing and the material and political implications of this connection. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Choreography at Stockholm University of the Arts.


Lauren Heckler

Lauren Heckler’s practice is context-reflective and is communicated through performance, sound, video and sculptural intervention. Driven by an open and inquisitive outlook, Lauren uses walking as her starting point for gathering ideas and her process evolves through the conversations and relationships that result from this. Her work has recently been exploring

how the landscape, or cityscape, is affected by changing values. Lauren is interested in the conflict between nostalgia and the desire for development. She is also curious about the crossovers and conflicts between public and private spaces.

Lauren moved to Cardiff shortly after graduating in Fine Art: Critical Practice from the University of Brighton in 2014 and has since engaged with various visual arts programmes locally in Wales, as well as other areas of the UK and internationally. In 2015 Lauren was Artist in Residence at Castell Coch and also produced an on-site project through her collaborative practice, Site Sit, entitled Village Halls, Llansteffan. This project invited five early career artists to create and showcase new works in response to the village hall and its wider environment. Lauren has recently finished a three-month residency at Elysium Studios in Swansea, which culminated in her first solo show.

Robbert van Hulzen

Percussionist Robbert van Hulzen enjoys playing somewhere in the colourful area between jazz, world and new music. He frequently augments his drum set with instruments found on his many travels, from the Iranian santoor to African shakers and Chinese gongs.

Besides his multicultural exchange project Elephant Songs, Robbert is involved in ongoing collaborations with dancer and choreographer Irina Sentjabowa, neo-gamelan ensemble Gending, a few bands (ranging from worldjazz to surfpunk), and he is an active member of the Amsterdam improv scene, working with the likes of Katie Duck, John Dikeman, Dirk Bruinsma, Wilbert de Joode. He is currently working on the music for a new production with Theater Babel Rotterdam. In the past he worked with a wide variety of artists including Terri Hron, in Duo Rara Avis, Nitin Sawhney, Merlijn Twaalfhoven, oto.3, Lola Montez, the Phillip Project. He plays all over Europe, in the US, Canada, Turkey, Palestine, Iran, Pakistan, India and Indonesia.


Joanna Young

Described by The Dancing Times as ‘an adventurous choreographic voice’, Joanna Young’s work is delicate, intricately crafted and absorbing to watch. Her projects explore a variety of contexts and approaches. These include stage productions, site-specific installations, film, and community responsive work.

In 2017 Joanna completed her Masters in Choreography at The Place, London Contemporary Dance School, with Distinction. She has recently received a Creative Wales Award from the Arts Council of Wales and is continuing collaborations with internationally recognised dance, sound and visual artists.