The performance, based on ethnographic interviews, told the heartbreaking story of Juarez, Mexico where hundreds of young girls and women have been raped, murdered, and tortured in 1993. It spoke of femicide in the city through three actors changing roles from women, their family members, and investigating officers. Light and shadow play, grim set objects (such as Christian Crosses signifying graves), modernly dressed actors, and excruciatingly painful and direct dialogue with the audience made the performance overwhelming and shook the audience. It invoked feelings of helpless anger, desperate questioning, and disbelief at the level of cruelty some human beings can inflict upon other human beings.
Treating language as space within which creativity can be exercised, this workshop took an approach of self-discovery to encourage participants to explore creativity. Through self-reflection, interaction, and writing exercises, it helped participants conclude their inner potentials within the unlimited scope of language.
Miss Mertens was a performance that talked about sustainability. It started with a new and unique setting. The whole performance area was set in a very casual method. The snacks and the distance with the actors was a completely new experience or the audience in Pune. The fifteen minutes long performance explained the inner exploration of the actor. It made use of very little set and casual costumes which is what made connecting to the character much easier. All in all, the performance was an exceptional story of self andsustainability of the environment, and the problems faced by this particular character.
One of the many legends about Niko Pirosmani was depicted through storytelling in this wonderful puppetry performance. White lighting, black costumes of the actors, and the perfectly handled puppets made magic on stage. The actors were emotionally one with the puppet and they together depicted a story with minimal words. The movements of the puppets were so detailed and delicate that they started seeming alive at one point. The synchronization and attention to detail were on point which made the audience not want to even blink an eye.
The session by Dr. Jimmy Noriega started with basic warm-up walks. The workshop aimed at bringing into an actor’s performance different types of walks and developing basic group dynamics. Movement in group dynamics is developed due to this exercise. The next part concentrated on the various elements of art and performance and how these elements affect movement and meaning-making in a performance.
The first workshop on Day 5 started with information about human anatomy. An actor needs to know his/her body in order to be in control of it. Going into the basics of Navarasa – Veera, Hasya, Adbhuta, Shringara – and understanding the bodily changes that take place while experiencing these emotions, and the recreation of these emotions is acting. A person may fake an emotion on stage but it will only be appealing to the audience if the person is able to recreate the physical changes as a result of that emotion. While recreating these emotions, complete control of the respiratory system is necessary. The following exercises involved the respiratory system and eventually making it stronger.
‘Bali’ is a story from the Ramayan that has been depicted using the traditional performance methods in India. The performance managed to keep the audience enthralled. A fusion of contemporary and traditional music accompanied by traditional movement-based pieces that depict the story of Bali and Sugriva. The performance was intense and yet inclusive of some comedic scenes. The lights managed to do whatever little was needed to complete the magic that the five incredible performers had created. The audience left the auditorium in utter awe of the control the performers had over their being on stage.