somewhere art has become a lonely word. It is not complete.. like broken columns, the forms co-exist. Is art a kind of disciplines or is it interdisciplinary? Can art be purist? who is an artist then - one who can perform, express, create, communicate. Who is a good artist then? What is quality of art? Can a dancer, sing? A poet, act? An actor, paint? A sculptor, dance? Can they work with each other?
In the days of company natak, one couldn't do without the other. The stage would be be blank without the painted curtains, the play would not be complete without the 'complemenents' of scientists and artists. Did they do it just because they had no choice and they were dependent on the other? Or, only when you had a little of everything could there be entertainment? Or, it was a conceptual, conscious decision? What happened to the collective spirit today?
We don't need the "other" today. Art has turned out to be competitive, comparative, caught in rigid compartments to achieve moving targets. There are differences, distances and disconnects between the arts and amidst one art form.
One fine day we arrived at theatre jam. It redefines itself frequently. The idea is to explore connections between various art forms, to create a space for dialogue and expression, to learn from new art forms, to colloborate and improvise. It is a bit like playing hide and seek.
Our familiarity with theatre drove us to start with it. It need not be only a 'theatre' jam. The space will slowly open out to explore other forms like dance, song, fine arts, installations, discussions, writings, readings... The observer, the audience, the participants, play a key role as this process meanders. In Bangalore, after episodes of shedding tears, drowning in sympathy, complaining and experiences other disorders, we decided to just do something on our own. What's important is to ensure regularity, and collectively deciding plans and actions.
The last two jams, has been magical, as we saw the process unfold.. from states of mind, to stories, experiences, feelings.. together and alone, a dialogue with oneself and others. There have been glitches and concerns, highs and lows, confusions and melodies.. but it is slowly getting rooted.
some of the things we need to address in our next meeting are:
a. Why only, theatre? Can we open the space now to different art forms?
b. Is Nelamanagala too 'far'?
c. How can we focus on bringing in new audiences?
d. Are we trying to build a community? Will that homogenise the diversity within the group? Do we all have the same goal, ideas of this process?
e. Should there be a facilitator?
f. How do we follow up on critique and appreciation that is discussed within the space?
g. What does this space mean to us?
h. How do we address the fragmentation between theatre and music within the space?
sounds like a boring questionnaire, but I see these as questions that we need to arrive at eventually at least.
for me, personally, I see that there is a need to bring people from different backgrounds together, in this 'one' space to explore if they can connect, if so what connects them, what happens after this connections and how can these connections be shared with a larger group.
It seems like there is a need to relook at the perceptions of art and reclaim access to art through different routes for more people.
maraa, has attempted to initiate this process, and all it's participants play an important role in leading this process and re'forming' it.