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HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014

UK based dance-theatre group LOL comes to India

Vaishali Bhambri, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 09, 2012
First Published: 16:20 IST(9/12/2012) | Last Updated: 01:06 IST(10/12/2012)

Social networking has made an unparalleled impact on the youth, and here’s a rather creative take on Facebook and its impact on relationships. Protein, an award-winning dance theatre company from UK will be in their maiden performance in India, called LOL (Lots of Love). Luca Silvestrini, the founder of the company, talks about the group, their ideology and their expectations from their performance on Indian soil.

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You’re coming to India for the very first time; what are your expectations from your performance here?
Yes, this is Protein’s first time in India. I am really excited and interested to see how the audience here will react to LOL and to the issues and concerns it raises about contemporary life. More generally, I am curious to see how people will react to Protein’s way of blending dance and theatre, movement and spoken text, social comment and a good night out.

How strong a medium is dance to put forth topics that matter in our day to day lives?
This really depends in what you think dance is. I believe that dance is an art form full of potential, capable of generating and provoking thinking and emotions. My work is in the field of dance theatre (some would call it physical theatre), where movement and words, video imagery and other verbal and non-verbal languages collide and blend in order to produce a piece of work that people can connect with.

Have you seen or heard about any Indian dance group?
I am not very knowledgeable about Indian dance and its different forms, but I live in the UK and I am familiar with the work of British choreographers that have been developing their personal voice in contemporary dance starting from traditional forms of Indian dance.

Everything from the name of the production to the concept seems to be inspired by the Internet.
I began to work on LOL in 2009 and the idea came from noticing that people’s attitude and behaviour started to change with development of social media. It became clear to me that we were facing a big shift in terms of human communication and interaction, and I began to question about the long term consequences of this change on our real life experiences.

How did you end up choosing this theme and what did you want to convey?
LOL is ultimately a piece about love. I wanted to make a piece about the physical and emotional distances that online activities have created between people. There is one fundamental concept I’ve encountered at the start of process, ‘isolated togetherness’, and this was key to most of the initial improvisations. The point is: we interact more, we spend more time communicating but we are doing this in isolation, physically separate, in the company of our electronic devises. It’s within this dichotomy, and apparent contradiction, between togetherness and isolation that I can best describe what LOL is for me.

Are the dancers of your group hooked to Facebook? Does the performance also include some real-life experiences?
Sadly we are all more hooked to social media than we were when we started this journey in 2009. However, one of the dancers is still resisting to the idea of FB. The show tells stories that are potentially real-life experiences, as we have created them by reacting to facts that we have read about or documented during action research workshops at the very start of the process. This is devised work that originates from improvisation and this means that the show contains elements of both mine and the performers biographies and personalities.

Catch them here
What: LOL by Protein
When: December 12- 15
Timings: 7.30pm onwards
Where: British Council Auditorium, KG Marg, Connaught Place
Nearest metro station: Barakhamba on the Blue Line

What is LOL?
The current touring production, LOL combines video animation with performers who dance and talk at the same time. Revolving around the era of social networking and real-time relationships, LOL is about love, wanting and connectedness in the internet age. With a distinctive blend of original choreography, text, humour and music to produce socially relevant and entertaining high quality dance theatre, Protein’s ingredients conjure a  sharp commentary on our Facebook society, and an affecting rendering of human need.


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