Scape, a multimedia dance production by Attakkalari and Japan Foundation, premieres in Bengaluru
Human relationships and emotions may have borne the brunt of the pandemic and the consequential global lockdown last year, but it also had an adversely positive effect on human kind. Although people didn’t meet physically, the virtual world brought citizens of the world closer to one another like never before. Exchanging long emails, or chatting for hours, and even sending video and audio recordings – all of this added a new dimension to our relationships and existence.
This also led to many creative minds and artistes from across the globe collaborating with one-another without the stress of meeting the logistical demands of flying to another country and carrying their paraphernalia from one place to another. The virtual world offered a gamut of opportunities for creative people to do more, and this week, one such collaborative project premieres in the city. The Indo-Japanese multimedia production, titled Scape, will be staged at Ranga Shankara on March 16.
A collaborative work between Bengaluru-based Hemabharthy Palani and Yokohama (Japan)-based Ryu Suzuki, the contemporary dance-and-audio-visual production explores the concept of human relationships and connections, physical distances and landscapes through the convergence of stage performance and digital dialogue. The synopsis of the show reads, “Scape explores vignettes from the lives of two individuals who have never met before, except through technology. Chronicling their urge to share their personal memories and experiences of people, objects, places and events through technology while transcending the constraints of geography and language.”
Both artists have never met, but the trust they share is like that of two individuals who have been friends for eternity. “Ryu shot his dance movements and the landscapes where he was performing. His videos were like letters to Hemabharathy,” says Jayachandran Palazhy, artistic director of the Attakalari Centre for Movement Arts that has co-produced this show in association with the Japan Foundation, New Delhi. The concept explores how our human body is a scape of experiences. Hemabharathy has created her response to Ryu’s choreography. She says, “We created an imaginary world and tried to come together in the world of work to create this project.”
Ryu shot various elements of his life such as his fear of water and his love for his Doraemon doll and how he doesn’t want to lose it. His Indian counterpart juxtaposed her experiences with his and to offer her perceptions through the choreography. “His video biography is about 23-minutes long and when I was watching it, I realised the similarities we share and the contrasts we have. He fears water and feels there’s a shark even in a pool, whereas I love water. He speaks of his Doraemon doll, and how he doesn’t want to lose it, he has this in control, but last year, I lost my father and it wasn’t under my control. It’s a kind of a conversation that we have created through this performance,” explains Hemabharathy.
While she performs live on stage, video extracts of Ryu’s solo performance will be played out in-between offering the audience a duet to follow. “In architecture, landscape is a permanent repository of memories, whereas bodies are temporary, and that’s another idea which is explored through Scape,” remarks Jayachandran. The production also features MD Pallavi’s voice who has sung a few vachanas for Hemabharathy’s part. In the truest sense, this is a collaborative effort with artistes, choreographers, filmmakers, costume designers and others coming together from India and Japan for this multimedia production, albeit virtually.
Rs 200. March 16, 7.30 pm. At Ranga Shankara, JP Nagar