The Art of Defining Me


In a tick box society where identity has become a commodity, this new dance film by Seeta Patel and Kamala Devam sees them take a humorous look at how they as artists are influenced by the expectations and definitions placed upon them.

Who puts us in these boxes? Society, institutions, individuals or ourselves?

Not a simple retaliation, the work observes and comments upon how we embody these expectations to find a certain safety and solace in them, almost enjoying them.

But what happens to us when the box becomes our home?

The Art of Defining Me has had national and international success at film festivals and has won several awards including Best Experimental Film at the LAB Film Festival 2013 and Audience Choice Award at the En-Route Dance Film Festival. It continues it's success and worldwide appeal and will be shown in Taipei in September 2014 as part of the Intervening Domain festival.

Seeta Patel trained in Bharatanatyam, under the guidance of Kiran Ratna, and continued her studies with Mavin Khoo. She has performed internationally with her own work and with numerous contemporary companies including DV8 Physical Theatre and David Hughes Dance. Seeta has received numerous awards and bursaries including the danceWEB scholarship and Bonnie Bird New Choreography award. She has just been selected for the Dance UK Mentoring Scheme 2014.

Kamala Devam studied Bharatanatyam in California, performing internationally, and trained as a Contemporary dancer at San Francisco State University. She has danced with Akram Khan Company, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, English Nation Opera and choreographed duet and solo work which has toured the UK.

Maria Åkesson, a Swedish filmmaker has a degree in Fine Arts and an MA in Documentary Filmmaking. She has further studied digital animation in Stockholm for two years and gained experience as a documentary filmmaker with projects in the UK and abroad, including India and the West bank of Palestine. She has also worked with promotional/corporate videos as a music video director and collaborator in multimedia projects.

For more information and a behind the scenes look at the journey of this project please go to

The project has been co-commissioned by Pavilion Dance South West and South East Dance, and funded by Arts Council England. Other supporters include; Swindon Dance, Rich Mix, Akademi, Asian Arts Agency and the Arts University College Bournemouth.

The Art of Defining Me promo
The Art of Defining Me still
The Art of Defining Me still
The Art of Defining Me still
The Art of Defining Me - Teaser
Seeta Patel
Seeta Patel
Kamala Devam
Director of Photography:
Maria Åkesson
Ankur Bahl
Sound Design:
Genevieve Crutchfield
Peter Schiazza
Art Direction:
Chris Faulds
Amie English
Rhoda Ofori-Attah
Alisitair Murray
Kamala Devam
Seeta Patel