Trash talking: Preethi Bharadwaj opens up on her upcoming performance, Me and My Trash
This performance, a call to an introspection of sorts, helps celebrate the vaachika abhinaya element of dance for this danseuse turned theatre artiste
This evening of spoken word and movement, on Saturday, is being presented by the Shreya Nagaraj Singh Arts Development Consultancy and features well-known classical dancer and theatre artiste; Preethi Bharadwaj. Preethi — who is also a teacher, performer and choreographer — engages in conversations that resonate and are relevant to the current state of art and classical dance. She constantly experiments by using bharatanatyam, and now theatre, as a gestural and narrative tool to communicate ideas that question and appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. We catch up with the multi-talented actress to find out more about the upcoming performance.
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Tell us about the play, what inspired it?
Me and My Trash is predominantly a movement expression of the topic in its literal and abstract/philosophical sense. It involves spoken word too. The inspiration for it came from my everyday dealings and learnings with trash (literal and philosophical). An audit of the waste I generate into this world was one of the many triggers. It is an evening of a few individual experimental movement pieces, some of which have been devised keeping in mind my journey towards generating less waste and more importantly being responsible for the unavoidable waste that gets generated. The evening is also a bit about me as a woman today, navigating different spaces, my relationship with the divine and how giving the divine a human shade often helps relate better to the fact that we are after all carbon dust in the cosmic scheme of things.
As a dancer, is theatre very different as a form?
Yes and No! I was taught that dance is a form of theatre and I cannot agree more. However, talking about being a classical dancer and working in modern theatre, it has been an imperative area of learning for me. It has made me fall in love with the classical dance I practise, more. The vaachika abhinaya (expression through speech) that classical dance talks about gets confined only to music or pre-performance announcements (in Bharatanatyam especially). Theatre really made me explore my voice better and to start using spoken word in classical dance performances.
What do you want the audience to take back from the performance?
I want them to feel many emotions at once. If I have planted a small seed in them to never fear to question the status quo, it makes me happy. A feeling of being responsible in whatever we create is one of the core ideas of the performance.
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Who directed/wrote the piece?
All the spoken word sections that you will get to listen and watch have been written by Vedarun Rajkumar. He has also worked with me on a piece that we created together, reimagining Indian Mythology titled Muruga’s Day Out inspired by the famous Hollywood movie Baby’s Day Out. I have choreographed the dance sections and I present one of Vaibhav Arekar’s choreography too with a bit of me in it!
What can we see you next in?
A two women play written by Vedarun Rajkumar titled Mad & J premièring in 2023.
Free entry. 26 November. 6 pm onwards. At SNS Arts Development Consultancy, Mylapore.