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Clowning around

Timira Gupta to conduct a workshop in circus art at Summertime with Prithvi.

art and culture Updated: Apr 30, 2010 16:00 IST
Jigna P

In what is one of the most innovative events this year, Prithvi’s Summertime fest will have a workshop in circus arts. This includes juggling, poi-spinning, funny walks, dressing up like a clown and even jumping around like one!

“Circus art is all about hand-mind coordination. Try doing something with your left hand, you will know what it’s like,” says Gupta, who has been working with children with psycho-social disabilities and attention deficiency for over four years now.

The workshops will be conducted in two batches, keeping in mind the age group of children. “The younger kids won’t be able to learn juggling and poi-spinning, so we have made their tasks simpler,” says Gupta.

“All these circus tricks are practiced as sports in the Western countries. It’s only in India that we consider them lowly,” adds Gupta, who thought of doing this workshop after she attended one in Goa. The 10-day-long Indian Juggling Convention, that happens in Goa every year, inspired Gupta. “There are people from all across the world who come to that workshop. It is a great learning experience,” says Gupta.

Learning on YouTube
But attending the convention was not enough, because in India, there are no such trainers. YouTube came to Gupta’s rescue. “I’ve learnt all the juggling and poi-spinning tricks from YouTube,” reveals Gupta.

But of what importance are circus tricks to theatre? Gupta lists hand-mind co-ordination as the best advantage of this workshop. Presence of mind is another important factor to be taken into account when on stage.

At the end of the workshop, children will get to perform in the weekend ‘mela’ (fair). Having worked with children with special needs, Gupta realised the fantastic results and started conducting such workshops for school children. “Nowadays, kids do not go out of the house a lot. This is a fun exercise for the body and mind,” says Gupta.

Other workshops coming up:
Name:
Here’s a Story to Remember
Age group: 6 to 10 yrs
Conductor: Randhir Khare
Language: English
Workshop Description: We all know how the same story can sound fascinating or boring depending on how it is told. Here, one can learn how to retell stories dramatically, using words and sounds, to captivate audiences.
Dates: Tue 4 to Sat 8 May (5 days)
Timings: 2 pm to 5 pm (3 hrs)
Venue: Prithvi House, ground floor

Name: Performing English Theatre in Indian Traditions
Agegroup: 12 to 16 yrs
Conductor: Neeraj Kabi
Language: English
WorkshopDescription: An enriching body-speech coordination workshop that teaches you the unique skill of performing English theatre pieces in Indian traditions of dance and martial arts, exploring new speech patterns.
Dates: Thu 29 April to Sat 8 May (10 days)
Timings: 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm (3 hrs) Venue: Prithvi House, first floor

Name: Playing the Last Jungle on Earth
Agegroup: 11 to 13 yrs
Conductor: Randhir Khare
Language: English
WorkshopDescription: How do you create a play from a story in a book? One will learn to create a playscript based on the celebrated environment fable, The Last Jungle on Earth, and learn the art of characterisation, creating dramatic situations and plotting a play.
Dates: Tue 4 to Sat 8 May (5 days)
Timings: 9 am to 1 pm (4 hrs)
Venue: Prithvi House, ground floor

Name: Speech and Voice Culture
Agegroup: 12 to 16 yrs
Conductor: Neeraj Kabi
Language: English
WorkshopDescription: In this workshop on self-expression, you will explore breathing skills, belief, emotions, clarity, projection, sound and techniques of approaching text pieces from literature, poetry and drama.
Dates: Thu 29 April to Sat 8 May (10 days) Timings: 10 am to 1 pm (3 hrs)
Venue: Prithvi House, first floor