We presented the Bharatanatyam dancer Aniruddha Knight and his musicians in a live performance and conversation session with the FEA team at a Diversity conference organised by Godrej & Boyce and a cross company Diversity and Inclusion forum in March, to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Our session titled Through the Looking Glass, Losing the Gender Stereotyping Habit, was very well received by audiences comprising mainly corporate managers from companies like Philips, Cummins, Sodexho, Asian Paints, HUL, Tata, Wipro, Mondelez, Monsanto and Godrej. The unusual experience of learning about biases and gender stereotypes through the prism of a striking classical art form like Bharatanatyam and its live energy drew a full house. Deconstructing the art form, layering it with the dancer’s personal narrative as a male dancer who chose to present the traditional shringaar rasa (love and beauty) and ensuring that the theme of gender and biases was examined from all angles seamlessly, elicited warm responses from several managers who appreciated the effectiveness of the approach.
The session examines the subject of biases and the habit of gender stereotyping that is embedded deep within each one of us. We had teamed up with Bharatanatyam dancer Aniruddha Knight, grandson of the legendary Bharatanatyam dancer T. Balasaraswati, and his musicians. We curated and developed the session drawing from the live performance, the art form and the creative process and journey to take a closer look at gender in the workplace.
The session is part of our Perspectives series where we explore issues linked to the culture of organisations and institutions. Drawing from the works of diverse performing artistes, the resources of their forms and their creative processes, we attempt to create experiential workshops that can start off a new thought process and a more effective, spontaneous change of heart; essential for building an engaging work space and learning environment.