Sapphire Creations back with its Annual Gala celebrations

Sapphire Annual Gala 2023 will be held at Gyan Manch Theatre on March 29, 7pm onwards.

Dharitri Ganguly Published :  27th March 2023 07:30 PM   |   Published :   |  27th March 2023 07:30 PM
A still from one of the presentations

A still from one of the presentations

Like every year, danseuse Sudarshan Chakravorty, along with his students and dancers, have come together to to celebrate the hard work and progression of all the dancers in last one year in one single evening as one seamless experience as they present Sapphire Annual Gala 2023 at Gyan Manch Theatre on March 29, 7pm onwards. Ahead of the celebrations, we speak to Chakravorty on the same. 

What productions can we expect at this event?

We are premiering three new productions, that will see more than 40 dancers with students of the academy and also showcasing important choreographic works by the Repertory members premiering Aanki Buki, which got the Jury Award, PECDA 2022 (India's first National award for Contemporary dance) and Sense & Senses which was performed in Poland in 2022 as an inter-cultural presentation in Roots of Dance Festival organised by Zaklad Tance (The Dance Division at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice and Driodsphere by students of the academy.

What is the Driodsphere? How many dancers are participating in this?

Driodsphere- AI vs I, is a piece that will convey a message from the future that takes you on a disquiet journey of evolution with technology. Living in a world of absurd reality that is guided by algorithms, automation and mechanisation in the 21st century might not look very daunting on the surface. We welcome a sphere where humans and AI are rapidly functioning hand in hand, which brings us to the question of vulnerability in the framework. Our active engagement with technology is ever increasing, and a heated discussion of technology being a boon, or a bane is obligatory. Somewhere along the horizon we often forget that we are vulnerable to high- tech gadgets. We live in a matrix that is guided and controlled by automations and algorithms, hacking into our emotions, cognitions and feelings. The technology is a Machiavellian puppeteer that is pulling all our strings and calling for all the shots on our behalf. 

Computers do not have free will, but we humans do. Are we ready to evolve with our human consciousness inside hardware technological bodies? Will our emotional intelligence vanish into thin air and be guided by algorithms? How would our humanoid bodies hold our consciousness and adapt to the changing demands of technology in future? We have raised all these questions through our production.
Conceptualised and directed by me, the piece is choreographed by Sylvester Mardi, Ron o Joy Poddar and Anup Sikdar, with music from Diverse Sources, puppetry by Chiranjit Das, Srila Bhattacharjee, Amrita Deb and Sujan Ghosh, lights by John and costumes by Gargy Sinha Ray. Almost 40 dancers, aged from 4 to 40 will be taking part in this production. 

Aanki Buki, which won an award at PECDA last year, will also be presented. Please throw some light upon it.

The very definition of normal is conforming to a standard set by the society which provides us with an expected mode of conduct. Social constructs are ambushes that often obstruct our ability to view and perceive things differently. People deviating from the social norms are labelled as abnormal because difference is always odd in the world of order and rules. Mental illness and creativity often go hand in hand and it is insanity which gives birth to ideas and imagination. Just like shadow and light are two sides of the same coin, creativity and madness are the same. Throughout history we have seen great examples of mad geniuses like Van Gogh, Sylvia Plath, Nikola Tesla, Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein and many more. Normality never causes change and transformation and faced by the judgmental opinions of others we often suppress our creative sides because most individuals do not have the courage to face the world all by themselves.

Aanki Buki- The ingenious madness is a piece that encourages people to get in touch with their creativity in spite of being called eccentric or abnormal, because madness can be the new normal. It is that eccentric side of us that often comes up with life changing and thought provoking ideas. This piece was given the PECDA 2022 (Special Mention Jury Award) which is India’s only national award for Contemporary dance and was performed in BIC (Bangalore International Centre). This has been conceptualised, choreographed and will be performed by Promita Karfa and Abrar Saqib.
The other production Sense & Senses performed in Poland in 2022 as an inter-cultural presentation in Roots of Dance Festival. Can you elucidate?

We think we are in control of everything but in reality we are just a mere part of nature which holds all of us together. In this process we are going to explore our way back to the roots and connect to nature through our senses using breathing as an integral part of it.

The outcome of the piece were through workshops on Polish folktales in music and dance by teachers from Poland namely Brygida Sordyl, Bartlomiej Hacocok Mieszczak and Iwona Kiwacka at Łodygowice and Biały Dunajec which was located at the highlands of Poland. The whole program was mentored and directed by Jacek Luminski who also conducted a workshop on Polish Contemporary Dance Technique at Narodowy Instytut Muzyki Tańca.

This piece was premiered as part of the Roots of Dance Project in Katowice - Poland 2022 and it was staged at Miejski Dom Kultury, Szopienice- Giszowiec in Katowice.

This was performed as an intercultural presentation as part of Roots of Dance Festival 2022 organised by Narodowy Institute of Music & Dance, Warsaw and Zaklad Tance (The Dance Division at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice which was supported by Ministry of Culture & National Heritage of Republic of Poland. 
This production has been conceptualised, choreographed and will be performed by Ankita Duttagupta, Bijoy Sharma, Promita Karfa and Rathin Das, and is directed and mentored by Jacek Luminski from Poland.

Sapphire Annual Gala 2023 will be held at Gyan Manch Theatre on March 29, 7pm onwards.