15th Bharangam Diary: notes, rants and experiences

DAY 12: 16th Jan 2013


Inspired by Blindness

Based on: Blindness by Jose Saramago

Adaptation & Direction: Sathya Bhama (Individual production)

The novel has an apocalyptic plot where an epidemic of blindness has spread throughout and is a perfect metaphor for the degradation of society while seemingly evolving. This production was a solo performance piece that incorporated movements, some vague dialogues and a harsh sense of devilish anarchy. The play tries to explore ‘blindness’ in all its forms but if it succeeds in doing so is a seriously personal matter of cognizance.


DAY 13: 17th Jan 2013

A sad day for Indian arts today; Pakistani productions were called off due to the on-going stir with regards to the LoC. NSD must feel that it is responsible for the safety of its audience as well as the performers – fair enough. But what about the Indian state? Is this the right political face to put forth? Isn’t India really foolish in bending over backwards, to hatred, of all things? If you aspire to shine and be a superpower akin to the United States then at least show the hate-mongers the middle finger, build a serious propaganda and allow sharp talk to be staged, sung, written, drawn or filmed (ZD30 is an example; promoting anti-Islamic thought while ostensibly ridiculing the state).

We went and wrote LoC (repeatedly, in bold) on one of the omnipresent print-outs that stated that the plays were cancelled due to ‘unavoidable circumstances’ and within an hour, it was removed. And a guard stood to guard the notices. Hilarious! Sad!


The Knocking Within

Script: based on excerpts from Shakespeare’s works

Directors: Wendy Jehlen & Pradhuman Nayak (ANIKAI Dance, USA)

A dance piece more than anything, this performance was an experiment. For me, the play turned up against itself because at the very beginning, during the introduction it was revealed that it is based on excerpts from Shakespearean text. But at the same time the performance was meant to be seen in a context-less setting. Sure there was no Othello to blame his woman, or the ominous presence of a Lady Macbeth but it is Shakespeare after all and many know the context by heart. The dance was monotonous and charms of body movements dissipated after a few minutes. And the disjointed nature of this seemingly fluid act was another put-off. Too many lights out in a short piece designed to challenge the audience are jarring to the senses.

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