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A whole new song & dance

art-and-culture Updated: Sep 15, 2012 00:21 IST
Pankaj Mullick
Pankaj Mullick
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Musical performances around the city are far more common than they were just a couple of years ago. As people start to explore different genres of music, artistes too are becoming aware of the need to engage with them and offer a richer experience.


"Adding other artistic mediums enhances the experience. If you appreciate dance, then you can be more receptive to difficult music – especially if they both stick to the context," says Stefan Kaye, a musician-producer, who leads Emperor Minge, Jass B'stards and Ska Vengers. He is also the person behind the Medicine Show, started three years ago, which brought together 40 artistes with vignettes that spanned art forms including but not limited to theatre, poetry, spoken word, dance, burlesque and music. Look for another edition of the Medicine Show in December.

Kaye's Emperor Minge will be collaborating with video artiste Santana Issar and dancer Parvati Tampi at Out of the Box, Hauz Khas Village on October 3. Tampi can be seen performing sooner – on September 20 at the Blue Frog – with Space, which comprises Tritha Sinha, Ritika Singh and Paul Schneiter, and is known for its mix of Indian classical, folk and trip hop. Tampi, trained in Kathak, does freestyle dance and has collaborated with Space before. "Dance has a sense of engagement that Delhi audiences appreciate a lot," says Tampi.

Adding another dimension will be Jules Rames, a French painter who will complete a work of art on stage. "As a perfectionist, the challenge for me will be to make quick choices," says Rames.

Tampi will be joined by Mayuka Ueno Gayer, a Japanese dancer who is returning to the stage after her pregnancy. Together, the ensemble will be exploring a single theme. "Apart from the analogy that pregnancy has with creativity, we also wanted to explore how a woman feels during this life-transforming time – the anticipation, the strangeness and how people perceive you," says Tritha, who has also collaborated with filmmakers.

A more recent collaboration has been with Ari Jayaprakash, creator of the Kuru Chronicles – a graphic novel set in a parallel dystopian Kolkata. Tritha has collaborated over a composition that is part of Kuru Circus Live, a show that will come to the capital around the end of November. The debut show in Bengaluru combined live art by Jayaparakash, Siddharth Barik (collaborator on the graphic novel) and Aakash Anand (creator of India's first abstract comic), and featured music by Audio Pervert, Toymob from Teddy Boy Kill, and Arjun Chandran from Schizophonic.

Augmenting the show were dance performances by The Storm Factory, which comprises Avril Stormy Unger, Swapnashree Bhasi and Pia Bunglowala. Video art was done by Vandana Menon, who is also a filmmaker. "Collaborations work well when one stays true to a central theme and has a cohesive idea around which artistes from across mediums can contribute. This is what one can expect from Kuru Circus Live – a cohesive, defined performance that Delhi will not forget easily," says Jayaprakash.

As audiences become more discerning, one can expect artistes to respond with just these kinds of performances, which offer more than just an experience – they deliver sensory immersion.