In a tick box society where identity has become a commodity, this multi-award winning dance film co-directed by Seeta Patel and Kamala Devam sees them take a humorous look at how they as artists are influenced by the expectations and definitions placed upon them. Who puts us in these boxes; society, institutions, individuals or ourselves? Not a simple retaliation, the work observes and comments upon how we embody these expectations to find a certain safety and solace in them, almost enjoying them. But what happens to us when the box becomes our home?

Directors/choreographers/dancers Seeta Patel and Kamala Devam join Director of Photography Maria Åkesson to create a three-part film using dance, physical theatre and original script and sound design. The Art of Defining Me has been screened in over 15 film festivals around the world and won several awards including Best Experimental Film and Runner Up to Best Film at the LAB Film Festival 2013 and Audience Choice Award at the En-Route Dance Film Festival 2013.

Commissioned by Arts Council England, Pavilion Dance South West and South East Dance. Supported by Akademi South Asian Dance UK, Rich Mix, Swindon Dance and Asian Arts Agency.

Images: Peter Schiazza (top photo), Maria Åkesson (film photos)

 “Zoom in on the detail and let the story unfold and unfold and unfold to make with great effort something effortlessly beautiful and complex: political, personal, artistic, classically informed modernity performed and uncompromisingly aware. Bravo.”

–  Lemn Sissay MBE, award-winning poet and writer


Producer: Seeta Patel

Directors: Seeta Patel and Kamala Devam

Director of Photography: Maria Åkesson

Writer: Ankur Bahl

Sound Design: Genevieve Crutchfield

Lighting: Peter Schiazza

Art Direction: Chris Faulds

Set: Amie English

Actors: Rhoda Ofori-Attah, Alistair Murray, Kamala Devam and Seeta Patel