Multi-disciplinary show Women Aahmen aims to debunk the idea of defined gender roles
Through the mediums of poetry, jazz, and movement, Women Aahmen is trying to bring focus to the stereotypes and roles women are confined to in society
Through the mediums of poetry, jazz, and movement, Women Aahmen is trying to bring focus to the stereotypes and roles women are confined to in society. The two-hour stage production has been written and conceptualised by Madhuri Jagadeesh. The show features performances by New York-based writer and jazz poet, Shobita Mampilly and music by Jagadeesh MR. “I’m a woman, and being surrounded by women of all age groups and listening to their stories, experiences and interactions, gave me the idea to work on this theme. Women working together can be a fabulous experience,” Madhuri tells us.
The performance touches on three archetypal tropes of women from myth and history — the powerful mother figure, the ideal wife and the ‘free’ woman. While these archetypes and set roles have been noted in history for centuries, women are still expected to fit into these moulds and are punished when they try to break out. This is the thought that drove Madhuri to conceptualise the show.
Each part or segment of Women Aahmen features poems and lyrical jazz music, and tells a story through an innovative mix of these mediums. “Jazz is at the core of this production, it is part rehearsed and will be partly improvised. The musicians have been working with us for quite a while and developed an understanding, intuition and spontaneity for it. It is all original compositions — the soundscapes, sound design and songs. We will use live instruments such as guitars, bass, drums, clarinet, keyboards and vocals too. Along with jazz, artiste Jataveda Banerjee incorporates thumris, ghazals, Rabindra sangeet and other styles of music as well,” Madhuri adds. The poems on the show range from Call Me Kali and Good Features, Bad Features by Shobita to verses on feminism by Maya Angelou. The show also features
movement artist Rohini Rajashekaran. Rohini brings in abstract as well as traditional dance performances that depict and capture the themes of Women Aahmen. “While there is no central plot, each narrative is like a vignette that tells a unique story,” Madhuri concludes.
Rs 400. July 22. At Jagriti Theatre, Whitefield