Spicy Tutu Boy will be back in Kolkata soon: Portuguese performance artiste Diniz Sanchez
DINIZ Sanchez, the Portuguese performance artiste and stage director, has made India his second home. The 40-year-old, who shifted his base to Kerala, and instantly fell in love with the vibrant culture there, has been perfecting the dance discipline of kudiattam from his gurus in the southern state. Visiting Kolkata for a performance, Diniz, who’s also known as Chandrashekharan, spoke with Indulge about his new production, Spicy Tutu Boy. Excerpts:
Diniz’s tryst with India started in 2010, and each time he has stayed longer, he avers. This year, he has come with an interesting proposition in the city that has egged him to work on a neo-classical performance. Elaborating on the act, he says, “It’s a temple festival, and I had to perform something classical. Since I am familiar with Indian classical dance, especially kudiattam, I decided to perform a neo-classical devotional performance for the Devi.” Diniz, who has worked extensively as a performance artiste, stage director, choreographer and more across the globe, informs us about the opera that he’s currently working on. “I’m developing something called The Elements, an opera that I saw in Spain. I found the production to be interesting, but also a bit boring, and that brought me to India. There are eight elements in the story that are represented by eight Indian classical dance forms,” said Diniz who portrays the role of the sun with a stylised form of kudiattam.
Talking about the big picture, he says, “The idea is to make a collaborative project between Spain, Portugal and India, to educate people of India’s rich classical dance forms.”
It’s Tutu Boy, not Tutu Girl
He is also an activist, and with his Spicy Tutu Boy avatar, he’s trying to question the perspective of people over the way they judge a person. He says, “You can call it activism. It’s more about gender fluidity, sexuality and sexual minority groups. I am still developing the character, and I want him to be humble and have a close relationship with the audience. So people give him a compliment and say, ‘She is beautiful’ and ‘She is so pretty’. And, I was like, it’s a Tutu boy and not Tutu girl! I am just wearing a Tutu skirt, and I haven’t changed my gender, so why are people addressing the character like that? I didn’t have my legs shaved, I even had my beard.” He informs us that Spicy Tutu Boy star ted when he perfor med at an interactive event in France. Talking about another project that questioned the repression of women in society, he explains, “I did one piece in Goa, and took it to Bangladesh recently. The production involved covering the character with a black veil, under which there was a hijab, and underneath that, a motorcycle mask. It highlighted the different layers of feminine repression.” Tutu Boy was the first production that Diniz brought to the city, and he promises to bring it back soon to the warm and welcoming city.