If it is possible for our life memories to be stored in our bodies and affect the way we move, is it also possible for our ancestors’ memories to be stored in our bodies as well? Could their life events and behaviour during their lives affect the way we dance now?

As the culmination of Kamala’s lectureship at the University of East London on the Hybrid Forms dance module, [d]ancestors was created on 2nd year Dance: Urban Practice degree students. Through interviews with the students’ relatives and choreographic tasks drawing from events in their and their ancestors’ lives, the students investigate their physical connection to their kin and express their findings through their knowledge of Bharata Natyam, the Indian martial art Kalaripayattu and the students’ training in urban dance styles.

Premiered at London’s Stratford Circus in May 2014.



Choreography: Kamala Devam in collaboration with 2nd Year dance students in the Hybrid Forms: Choreography and Performance module

Choreographic assistance: Hayley Ryan

Music: “Brim” and “Carry Me Anew” by Olafur Arnalds

Music editing: Kamala Devam assisted by Raja Das and Nandi Devam

Featured interviewees of Hybrid Forms students: Raymond Sterling Sr., Sharon Curniffe, Mariette Sieffermann, Fikriye Mor, Christine Kean, Vic Simmons, Tracey Reed, Michelle Doyle, Basantika De, Blossom Perkins and Surina Devam

Rehearsal assistance: David Waker