Moodzi (Abhijeet Mudgerikar)

Moodzi (Abhijeet Mudgerikar)

M.F.A. in Choreographic Inquiry


Moodzi (Abhijeet Mudgerikar) is a performing artist, who aspires to narrate stories on
the intersections of architecture, gender expression, social activism, community
engagement and freestyling over music. One of the most recounted stories of their
childhood was their obsession with the Bollywood song Chhamma Chhamma,
performed by Urmila Matundkar, a famous Indian actress. Coined as an ‘item
number’, Urmila’s expressions and movements compelled them to respond to it as a
toddler. Looking back at its video, they realised there was a degendered view
towards dance at such a young age.

Their choreographic interests reap from inquiries towards cities, communities, and
their own body and identity. With time and experience, they have noticed codification
& commercialization of dance consistently deteriorate the essence of the respective
forms and cultures, taking it away from its origins and catering to groups in societal
power. With their practice, they wish to make choreographic work authentic and
more accessible.

For their undergraduate degree in architecture, they wrote a thesis on the causal link
between movement and performance spaces of Indian classical dance forms. For
instance, they traced connections of Odissi’s balanced chowk posture, with the
perfect square plan of the nata-mandapa at Konark Sun Temple. Supervisors and
professionals critiqued it as straying away from architecture practice. However, this
inquiry enabled them to challenge these notions to open up perspectives about the
discipline and the importance of its relationship with culture and movement.
Meanwhile, as a part of Paranoid Dance Crew, they gained recognition at national
level competitions and underground dance battles outside Ahmedabad, which
introduced them to western street dance cultures, and empowered them to
experience freedom through the support of community founded bonds. It gave them
access to perform unconventional dance styles in India, such as Vogue, House and
Waacking. This led to conceiving a community centre in Ahmedabad called
Misbehaving Beautifully, that helped them learn and teach such dance forms. Their
practice expanded to performing and facilitating events in public spaces where
self-expression was celebrated and nurtured.

More recently in a project titled Invisible Dance, funded and conceptualised by
Goethe-Institut New Delhi & Indonesia, they conceptualised Social Dance
Experiments – informal gatherings initiated with music and dance to perceive
segregations within communities. Doing this at four contrasting locations in
Ahmedabad challenged participants’ notions about each other’s identities,
connecting them across barriers of caste, class and gender. They hope to continue
studying these intangible differences through movement, and new forms for
visualising sites.

Moodzi wishes to build upon their learnings from WACD, to continue to provide
dance as a medium of healthy expression, as well as a tool to possibly desegregate
social systems. Through movement, they hope to break through the rigid
conditioning imposed by society in our bodies and minds, and experience the joy
they felt as a toddler dancing without gender barriers.