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Saturday, April 6, 2024

BODY AND SOUL: Daniel Phoenix Singh: True change from the roots

Daniel Phoenix Singh (photo: Metro Arts)

Daniel Phoenix Singh performing Vasanth

Daniel Phoenix Singh is seen in one of the performance poses of his syncretic blend of Bharata Naytam and Modern genres of dances. His two hands are spread open like the petals of a lotus flower, his arms are in a long diagonal, reaching into space while he is spiraling his upper body in contrast to his lower body. He is wearing dark blue pants with turquoise blue pleats on the sides. 

Listen to Daniel Phoenix Singh: True change from the roots

on my Body and Soul podcast here.


Daniel Phoenix Singh has worked in higher education, the field of dance, queer communities, South Asian communities, and in arts practice, policy, and funding at local and national levels. His identities lie at the intersection of his queer, antiracist, South Asian, immigrant, artist, and advocate roles in the various communities he inhabits. 

He acknowledges the complicity and internalization of colonial and racial oppressions in his life and works hard to approach issues from an anticolonial and antiracist perspective. He has been influenced by the work of Erode Venkatappa Ramasamy (aka Periyar |, Rabindranath Tagore, Arundhathi Roy, Toni Morrison, and particularly Justin Laing ( who work from intersectional frameworks. 

In his dance practice, Daniel was mentored by Pamela Mathews as curiosity took him from computer science to a dance major in college. He is deeply grateful to Lorry May, Harriet Moncure Williams, and Karen Bernstein for helping shape his choreographic voice. Madhavi Mudgal and Leela Samson in India have broadened his perspectives on the space Indian dance forms can occupy both within the body, in the pedagogy, and field of dance. 

He is a single parent to amazing twins who have been his foremost teachers and test his improvisational skills every day.

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