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Bicycle in the Sky

"...a back-and-forth dynamic dialogue...creating a “story” of sorts about what her mind sees and hears. It's a captivating theatrical presentation!"

— Critical Dance

Bicycle in the Sky is a duet between two award-winning artists of South Asian heritage. Choreographer Preeti Vasudevan and composer Kamala Sankaram challenge the audience to creatively reimagine gender and cultural impact by exploring early works created between Merce Cunningham and John Cage based on Indian theater vocabulary.

Converstions w C&C

Image Credit: Andrés Mercado, 2022

Bicycle Setting scene

The performance dialogues with three fundamental areas of interpretation between a South Asian aesthetic and Cunningham’s own fascination that there are no fixed points in space:

  • Rhythm

  • Gesture

  • Story


The work in particular revolves around Cunningham and Cage’s early experiments with Indian dance-theater. In 1951 Cunningham and Cage created a work called 16 Dances for Soloist and Company of Three where Cunningham first used his now famous chance operations. This piece was drawn from his research on the nine emotional states in Indian dance-theater called Nava Rasas.

bicycle dev

Bicycle in the Sky piece "Conversations with Cunningham & Cage" at Flea Theater

November 2022 

Image Credit: Andrés Mercado, 2022

"Conversations with Cunningham & Cage" a piece from Bicycle in the Sky premiered in November 2022 at the Flea Theater. The development and premiere was supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Harkness Foundation.

"Conversations with Cunningham & Cage" is the first part of a full evening work between composer Kamala Sankaram and choreographer Preeti Vasudevan. The two artists challenge the audience to rethink cultural impact in creativity by drawing aleatory comparisons to the early works created between Merce Cunningham and John Cage based on the nine emotional states in Indian theater. The work this evening explores the emotions of love, surprise, fear, peace and anger.

Bicycle in the Sky piece "Chance and Chaos" at NYPL