Five dancers coming together for the love of dance, to collaborate, build and grow together – this is what CH_LK is. An artist collective put together by Parth Sethi. Read on to find out how it came about and what makes them tick.
What inspired you to bring CH_LK together?
I, Parth Sethi, have been teaching Aarya Singh, Yash Tak, Mahima Makwana & Aman Ahuja for a long time. Due to the pandemic, we all had a lot of time on our hands. I wanted to make use of this time and train them as much as possible; if any project comes to mind, they’re the ones I think of first as they have been with me the longest. We all understand the same language of movement and we think and speak along the same lines, so I thought that they would be the best people for me to train. We were 2-3 months into training together when I came up with CH_LK.
To execute it perfectly, all four of them – Aman, Mahima, Yash and Arya – had to be included as they would understand me and the quality and intensity that I wanted to bring out. So I asked them if they would like to be a part of this artist collective initiation and they agreed without any hesitations, for which I will always be grateful.
What sets you apart from the rest ?
Honestly, I cannot answer this right now. I never thought of having a crew or a team. I’ve never been in or around a group or a crew. I only thought of this initiative as a collective; CH_LK is an artist collective. I wouldn’t go by a crew or a team.
What sets us apart – I cannot compare ourselves to the others. I can only speak for us. Whatever we do, we do it with honesty and we do it wholeheartedly. We try to reflect as much as we can. We don’t do anything just for display. Even though there’s a clear line between reflection and displaying, I think we lean a bit more towards reflecting with our work. We dance and do whatever we do for the love of art and just to create. I don’t know if this sets us apart, I only know we are neither competing nor are we a part of the race; we’re here just to create and make art.
What is your vision and the ultimate goal for CH_LK?
We’re going with the flow. We want to work together as much as we can. We don’t really want to achieve anything specific. We like creating together and that’s all we really want to do. The process brings us happiness. We just want to make use of this time and create together while enjoying the process. Everyone in the team is brilliant individually and somehow we come together and complement each other. We don’t believe in the ‘perfect’ team. Just working together, building together, growing together and creating together is what makes a team the ‘best’.
How did you come up with the name CH_LK?
I’m someone who likes simplicity. In fact, we all connect on keeping things simple. We feel that one word should explain our entirety. So when I first thought of what ‘simple’ could be, I thought of the colour white after which, the term ‘cloud’ came to me. But the name was already used and I don’t think I related to it as much either, so it didn’t really work. I also wanted the word to fit into a sentence and something that didn’t need ‘a part of’ or ‘a member of’ to be added before the name and so the word ‘Chalk’ came to me. I also liked the sound of it and it was tasteful that the word ‘Chalk’ has just one vowel right in the centre of it and so it just stuck with me. We also don’t say “we’re a part of chalk”, we say “we’re a dust of chalk” and that’s something I feel holds the creativity that we were going for.
Honestly, later on the name became ‘CH_LK’ since ‘Chalk’ was not available on Instagram and we thought it was a good idea to leave the ‘A’ blank as it’s the only vowel in the word and somehow it just fit and also looked really good. And luckily everyone of us has an ‘A’ in our names (Aman, Mahima, Yash, Aarya & Parth) so we eliminate the ‘A’ every time we use it and that’s just how it all fell into place.