Monday, April 13, 2009

From the girl in a saree…

For the past few months I’ve been contemplating the whole idea of public spaces and how we’ve been trying to look beyond the constructed usage of the term ‘public spaces’. The jam has inevitably become that space.

Meet, greet and perform…. And that’s what exactly what happened. To start of with Andrea’s exercises - What I found really amazing was how the group enthusiastically participated. I, for one, found the exercises very liberating. In the sense, that it started with movement and body first from the ‘self’ to subtly moving into sharing that space with another, especially the ‘fall – hold’ and the ‘roll-over’ exercise. We did gather some inquisitive gazes, at one point even a truck load!!

But there is some sort of a barrier…wish people would join us at some point..just jump in… or do we come across as an eccentric intimidating crowd? (Just been playing on my mind)

Vahid’s poem – I didn’t catch the name or the entire poem, but I did get bits of it…and that was enough to let my thoughts travel. The off-shot performance was interesting…would want to know what the poet thought of it? I decided to go with adding some kind of sound to it – because I felt the piece spoke a lot about ‘silence’ and how it magnifies thought to some extent (okie that’s a little something I got out off it), so picked a bottle and a twig to add to the movement enthusiasts …it became a piece in itself with the drummer adding his crazy chamaaks!

Songs in Bangla to folk to rock to quawaali…..was a very fascinating mix. From singing mosquitoes and sharing jackfruits!Personally for me, I’m at a state of understanding this crisis of religion, tolerance, violence, secular, non secular, faith, belief and culture. Feel like a juggler trying to find a ‘where’ to walk amidst this clutter, right now it seems to be on a painful fence. And I couldn’t help but enjoy these songs from that fence. (Got a bit surreal…dunno if it was the space, the songs or the theme behind or all of it)

And how could I forget the short piece Ekta read out from Sangamitra, remember ‘the black linen shirt’, I don’t know why it’s queer…it sounded so simple and regular to me.

Deepak’s autobiographical piece – ‘When someone asks me who I am, I don’t know what to say!’, I think someone mentioned this at the Q and A post the performance, but I felt I was stepping into something that had already started. I particularly liked the repetition of certain parts of the text; it put the emphases in ‘quotes’!

The form juxtaposes movements, text and fragments of songs, the method behind the autobiographical dramaturgy plays more on the impulse of movement and thus making it more abstract, yet I would think it is not that different. But I’m keen on understanding the process of decentralizing the individual’s story with spurts of disjoint body movements. Conceptually, as a viewer, I could still make some connections and somewhere draw a parallel with the content. But I wonder how 'fair' it would be to the actor and his story, that’s where I’m stuck in understanding the method itself..when one is directed….how far can you push it to being your own (autobiography), or does it even have to? However, I am interested to see how the piece evolves…

Masrah’s stories from a park bench – phew... glad to be ‘finally’ performing at the jam. I thoroughly enjoyed coming up with the piece over ice-cream and cigarettes at some 3am two nights before the jam. All of us were super excited about sharing our stories, but more anxious about opening the bench out for the audience- hoping someone will want to share their stories. It was rewarding to see so many of them willingly come forward. Thank you guys :0

Coming back to the form, it wasn’t too defined but we made sure it followed a certain conversational feel. But would personally want to see how and where we can take the piece from here.

Soumya and Andrea’s movement number –It was really cool to see how that space just transformed itself into this set for their piece. Hope you didn’t get a bump on your head Andrea?!

For the next Jam, was wondering if we can see how to get the locals from the area involved. Maybe put up a poster or two, Do some door-to-door pamphlet thing? What do you guys think?

Also found out today that they are going to chop some 300 trees around that area – Why…well because of the METRO…(duh) and it apparently happens during the night. Now…am not sure if anything we do CAN stop this mess. But it would be interesting to see how this spills into our performances next jam.

until next,



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