In an education system that is strictly result-oriented and favourable to the traditional career choices, a Mumbai-based theatre group, Junoon, is presenting kids with an opportunity to experience the sheer richness of the performing arts. Their popular workshop, Arts On Play, which started last year, will now tie-up with schools and offer students a delightful art experience, created by their network of professionals.
“We want to bring the value of the arts into the regular educational experience. Arts — and the performing arts in particular — demand observation, analysis, creative understanding, imagination, abstract thinking and even logic. Any school that believes in these values will step forward and want to be part of our programme,” says Sameera Iyengar, co-founder Junoon. The programme will include visiting theatres to watch plays like Kyun-Kyun Ladki, Zinga Zinga Roses and Stories In A Song among others.
Another interesting aspect of the workshop is Art Encounters, where kids get to interact with artists and see what goes on in the making of a performance, with the aid of a particular form, be it musical instruments or the use of songs to aid storytelling.
There’s something in store for the teaching staff as well. “Through workshops for teachers we offer them opportunities to discover and explore new ways of seeing things, experimentally,” says Sanjna Kapoor. She co-founded Junoon with Sameera, who rightly points out: “Our young students are in the hands of the teachers, who need the strength of the arts as much as any of us.”
The duo has received positive responses from the schools in the city, and even educational institutions from other parts of the country. “We plan to tour with this programme from next year, and look forward to building strong relationships with these institutions.”