What’s In A Name? — At The Still Point

A series that reveals the meaning and significance behind intriguing festival names

From Lollapalooza in the US to Creamfields in the UK, festivals all over the world have come up with some creative and interesting names that make them stand out from the rest. In this series, we interview organisers about the meaning and significance behind their intriguing festival names.

This month, we spoke to Paramita Saha, director of Kolkata-based organisation Artsforward, about the story behind the name of their contemporary dance festival At The Still Point. Launched in 2017, the festival “is a crowdfunded, community effort, to nurture audiences and make the audience a stakeholder in the process of creation, curation and representation.” 

Saha explains that its name is derived from Burnt Norton, which is the first of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets set of poems. “It’s one of my favourite poems,” she says. “The name comes from the line, ‘At the still point, there the dance is…’. Elliot says where there is stillness, there is dance. That is something I truly believe in – that to dance you don’t need to be moving all the time. There is a lot of dance in stillness itself.” 

That’s not the only reason she chose this name. Adds Saha, “For me, it also meant something else. At The Still Point is a crowdfunded festival. It will only be possible when many people come together who are not necessarily sponsors. These are everyday people, the community. In a way, it is for them to own the festival. So when I say that ‘At the still point, there the dance is’, I also mean that all of these voices join in to make it happen.” 

The logo of the festival is also in sync with the title. “Our logo shows five hanging balls. When all of them are in motion together, the last ball can fly. It is about the community movement, when all of it is in tandem, in rhythm, then the dance really, truly happens.”

Find out more about At The Still Point here

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