Shawn Nayar

Shawn Nayar (he/they) is a performing artist from India who weaves his audience into collaborative erotic enquiries. On stage, stripped of inhibitions and having abandoned sublimation, he examines what it is to be in a body externally fetishised by the sexual gaze and made exotic by skin color. He embraces the instinctive physicality that comes with his intrinsic movement practice, becoming a body that both fights against these impositions with grotesque convulsions and succumbs to them with captivating lulls. His performances bring this turmoil center stage and use its physicality to translate an internal dissonance as Nayar struggles to reconnect with a culture he is isolated from.

As a performer Nayar is emboldened by collaboration, inviting other artists and his audience to constrict his “body of work” with ropes and guide it through movement. By treating his movement practice as an artistic medium, Nayar’s body becomes a material for others to manipulate. In this sense his collaborators activate his work by enacting the racial and queer discourses of power that ground his movement practice and lived experience. As these interactions are a critical arm of his performances, Nayar has positioned his work in clubs and raves where intoxication muffles restraint and heavy beats fuel a symbiotic energy. He has taken his work from Ponyboy showcases in Glasgow to Riposte’s raves in London, notably performing at Pornceptual’s first UK event.