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Let there be black light

A Czech theatre group gives the Capital a modern taste of an ancient form of theatre.

art and culture Updated: Nov 17, 2011 01:35 IST
Chetna Dua
Chetna Dua
Hindustan Times

As the lights in the auditorium fade out, bright lights take centrestage, forming shapes and telling a story. The Capital gets a taste of Black Light Theatre — a form of theatre where ultraviolet lighting is used to create visual illusions — at a show presented by 11 artists from the Prague-based group, Showshaa Theatre. The overall effect is almost like dreaming while you’re awake.

In the show, which is currently on at the Kingdom of Dreams in Gurgaon, black curtains, a darkened stage and black lighting creates fluorescent flowers, butterflies and fishes. There are a plethora of objects moving in the air on the stage, which keep popping out of nowhere.

“Ultraviolet lights and black theatre is a technique not explored much in India. It was a great challenge to try new things in this format and create a visually appealing performance,” says Anindita Menon, the creative director of the show, adding that this form of theatre is bereft of extravagance.

“We have added the elements of fun, vibrancy and spunk to make it more relatable to the Indian audience. We’ve specially concentrated on audience interaction as the Indian audience loves to be engaged in shows,” says Ziv Cohen, the Czech director of the show. The artists need to be very prudent while performing. “Since the entire hall is dark, we have to train hard to see in the UV light and keep in sync with each other’s movements. Even if one person takes a wrong step, the entire act could go haywire,” says Lucie Vrbova, a performer with the crew, which has been in India for the past two weeks.

What is Black Light Theatre?
In Czech, it is a theatrical performance style characterised by the use of Black Box Theatre augmented by black light illusion. This form of theatre originated in ancient China and was later even used by magicians. Today, it has become a speciality associated with Prague. The distinctive characteristics are the use of black curtains, a darkened stage and black lighting (ultraviolet light), paired with fluorescent costumes to create visual illusions.

Watch it live
Black Light Theatre
Till: January 8
Time: 6pm, 7pm, 8.30pm (Tuesday to Friday) 5, 6, 7 and 8.30pm on weekends
Where: Showshaa Theatre, Kingdom of Dreams, Sector 29, Gurgaon
Entry: Rs.750 includes Theatre and Culture Gully
Nearest metro station: IFFCO Chowk on Yellow Line

First Published: Nov 16, 2011 18:03 IST