Soothsayer Serenades

Amrita Hepi is a dancer and choreographer with an interdisciplinary practice. In Soothsayer Seranades, she invites collaborators to develop playlists accompanied by provocations to move which are released at 4pm every Wednesday via the music streaming service Spotify. This format provides insights into how the COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated ways of rethinking how art can be experienced and distributed across place and time to transcend geographical and physical boundaries. The pandemic has highlighted how the internet and free social media platforms have provided connectivity during a time when we have been estranged from friends, family, community and workplaces.

The playlists in Soothsayer Seranades encourage listeners to actively participate, to reach out, and enable others to move in the shared moment of its release. The physicality of dance and the sensory qualities of music provide an experience of embodiment that either counters the isolating conditions of lockdown or suggests ways of reconnecting thereafter. The work invites us to experience the present, while also referencing the role of a soothsayer who has clairvoyant abilities to predict the future. If the pandemic has provided a portal to imagine different ways of being and living in the future, Soothsayer Serenades demonstrates an artistic response to how we could re-imagine our shared, global community and reaffirms the importance of our interconnection to each other.

Sharmila Wood
(based in Perth, Australia)