Prakriti Foundation Residency

Residency brief

Prakriti Foundation was founded in Chennai in 1998 to host events enquiring into cultural heritage and inheritance in order to change and enlarge the cultural scene of Chennai. Since its creation, Prakriti has been a free space where scholars, researchers, artists, critics, poets and filmmakers could present their work to those who engage with it on serious terms. The Foundation organizes four festivals and events across various performing and non-performing art forms, among which are lecture demonstrations, poetry readings, film screenings, and intimate performances.

The French Institute in India is one of the major supporters of the Prakriti Excellence in Contemporary Dance Awards (PECDA), a national-level biennial award for contemporary dance (one-of-a-kind in South Asia). PECDA is a platform for Indian contemporary dance forms, exposing artists to a wider audience and network. With Villa Swagatam, French practitioners will be able to experience this vivid scene, and discover and engage with new, emerging forms of expression, which weave their own language and grammar in India.

  • Thematic focus Performing arts (contemporary dance)
  • Location Chennai or Nagapattinam (Tamil Nadu)
  • Dates November 2023 - February 2024
  • Length of stay 1 month

Our Space

Chennai or Nagapattinam (Tamil Nadu)

According to the nature of the selected artistic project, the residency will either take place at Thyagaraya Nagar in Chennai - capital city of Tamil Nadu, the southernmost Indian state – or at Mangala, in Nagapattinam, in a refurbished heritage home located at the heart of the region, in a quiet agrarian village.

Thyagaraya Nagar, commonly known as T. Nagar, and historically known as East Mambalam, is a very affluent commercial and residential neighbourhood in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. T. Nagar is believed to be the first planned urban neighborhood in Chennai created in 1920, conceived in a European style, with the Panagal Park resembling the Arc De Triomphe and the Pondy Bazaar resembling the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Initially built as a residential neighbourhood, it is now considered the largest shopping district in India by revenue. It is known for its plethora of saree and jewellery retailers, including multiple big brands. The neighbourhood is served by Mambalam railway station of the Chennai Suburban Railway Network. T. Nagar is considered one of the city's major central business districts, the other being Parry's Corner, the centre of the city.

Mangala is a 100-year-old house that formed part of the fabric of the communities who lived in the immediate vicinity of the stunning Agneeswara Temple at Thirupugalur Village. The layout of the streets and houses follows the classical tradition with an inner & outer square grid around the temple. The village is a quaint, slow place perfect for think tanks and to unwind in its sleepy, fresh south Indian rural charm. The house is right opposite to the village temple with nothing but the temple tank in between. Plenty of chances to explore the quiet countryside by walk, or bicycles.

Our Laureates

Stéphanie Janaina Dancer and choreographer

By collaborating with Indian female contemporary dancers and choreographers, as well as children, I wish to create a vibrant laboratory for artistic exchange and creation, dedicated to exploring the expressions of anger.

Stéphanie Janaina is a Franco-Mexican dancer and choreographer who studied dance, visual arts, cinema and gender studies. Her research revolves around the exploration of fragility in its various forms, questioning and redefining the pejorative feminisation of this concept. She is a member of the group ¡miércoles! with Chilean musician Nicolás Jaar. She also works with the Collectif V.I.D.D.A. to create the trilogy Des pas si présent, a project that attempts to answer the question "What were our first sounds?", inspired by the blackout phenomenon and the Mixtec language Tnu'u Dau. Since 2021, she has been contributing as a curator to Yutindudi, an art space located in the Mixteca Alta region of Oaxaca, Mexico. More recently, as part of her ongoing projects, she is exploring the various manifestations of anger.