The Artist and the Performer
Sejal Surendra Sood is a performance artist who uses her canvases to explore the meditative nature of dance and the very movement that underwrites it, breaking it into transformational and reflective experiences. Her exhibitions are experiential and not just a static viewing of either the canvases or the dance. In an effort to expand her canvas Sejal has taken her dance to public spaces thus blurring the line between the performance stage and the spectator. These experiments in dance – whether dancing solo in public spaces or jamming with other dancers – have fuelled her canvases. Her exhibitions bring dance into play using various medias – film, multi-media artworks, costumes, etc.
A self taught painter, Sejal reflects on ‘movement’ and its serialised narrative and how intrinsic it is to creation itself yet so much of it goes unnoticed. The world is in constant motion, but in all that motion there is space for reflection and Sejal seeks to capture that essence in her art.
With a degree in Mathematics from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sejal was Director of Anayltics at a well-known international retail firm until she could no longer ignore the call of art and dance. Responding to it, Sejal turned into a full time performance artist and found that both mathematics and the arts in conjunction offered her the chance to communicate ideas about life.
She first went on to pursue art and dance in New York before making her way east to Mumbai via Hong Kong and now Bangkok to explore different forms of dance, which inspire both her visual and performance art. As she journeyed through South East Asia Sejal focussed on studying life in motion and how different cultures essayed their every day existence.
Though trained in classical dance Sejal found the biggest influence on her was dancing with her mother and grandmother to folk songs. That emotive experience fostered in her the love for the arts reflecting in her dance and her paintings. Experiences distilled through the practice of yoga giving depth to her concept of movement.
Over the years she has exhibited at the Think Design Festival, Vikhroli Skin, Warp 54 and ICC Bangkok and performed as a dancer, at the UN ESCAP Bangkok, Lincoln Center, Manhattan Center, Harvard Arts First Festival, Konark Dance Festival, Fantasy Ganesha Art Gallery, Thailand’s International Dance Festival.
Most of Sejal’s artworks stem from many years of dance experiences as an artist that inspire her to delve deeper into the spontaneity of movements. Some works are based on her dancing solo while others on ‘conversations’ with other dancers as they danced together fuelling each others’ creativity
Seed of Sejal’s entire philosophy is based on movement and that dance connects all levels, all planes… bringing them together into one unified whole.
Sejal dwells artistically in a world that acknowledges no boundaries between art and dance and everyday life. Hers is a stretched canvas that incorporates her movements as a dancer just as easily it does her brush strokes. For her, dance is an all-encompassing experience going beyond mere movement and into the realm of the spiritual. Yet it is also a part of everyday life. She sees the cosmic dance of creation even in a meditative silence. She sees it in a dancer’s plié, in heavenly bodies moving across the sky, a bird in flight, the stillness of a yogi, a ripple on a lake… it’s all a dance. Each movement perfection itself, the world constantly on the go even when it appears to be still. Yet the only perfection the world acknowledges is the one on stage… Sejal believes it’s time to change that.