A Trip Through Time

‘Aadhaarachakra-a Dancelogue’ of Attakalari Centre for Movement Arts to be staged at Fine Arts Hall tomorrow evening is an attempt to look at the past in a contemporary way

Published: 27th June 2014 08:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th June 2014 08:10 AM   |  A+A-


KOCHI: For those dance lovers enchanted by productions like Meidhwani, City Maps, Chronotopia and Sanchaari, Attakalari Centre for Movement Arts’ hybrid performance ‘Aadhaarachakra-a Dancelogue’ is set to offer a treat. The Kerala Fine Art Society Hall is getting ready for the show that will commence at 7 pm on Saturday.

The dancelogue oscillates between the past and the present travelling back and forth in history to give a new meaning to the frozen memories of the bygone.

The multi-media production brings alive the essence of domestic life in a traditional Chettinad house, the flavours and fragrances of a spice market, the sacred rituals in a southern Shiva temple, and the narrow alleys of old Delhi mesh into the sweeping solitude of Humayun’s tomb and the Qutub Minar with characters from diverse locals and periods of the country.

Conceived and directed by Jayachandran Palazhy, Attakalari’s artistic director, the production is an attempt to look at the past in a contemporary way. For the Physics graduate who sought the path of dance through kathakali, kalaripayattu and bharatanatyam, the venture is a result of his curiosity to know what it was like for people to build architectural sites and if their lives had any association with these monuments.

“When Goethe Institute approached me to make a production on urbanisation, I did not want to concentrate on one city. Instead, I tried to incorporate the divergence that defines this country. The production is an attempt to understand historic symbols like monuments and architectural sites across the country as repositories of memories. They are frozen evidences that help to understand the communities and people of those times. This is like a docu-fictional visual treat. It does not offer a complete picture, but will give away pointers and the audience gets to decide and fill the gap. Sometimes, a smudged picture is more beautiful than a clear one,” says Jayachandran.

Attakalari’s repertory company along with a team of international collaborators travelled through rural Tamil Nadu from Karaikudi, Chidambaram, Ulundhoorpetai and Tiruvannamalai, filming vivid images of Chettinad houses, temples and local market scenes. Moving on, the location shifts to Delhi with focus on the Mughal era and dancers were shot on the location in Qutub Minar, Humayun’s tomb and Ugrasen ki Baoli. The film also captures the present - urban landscapes ranging from the crowded Chandini Chowk in old Delhi and the Nizamuddin railway station to Gurgaon with its manic traffic and flyovers.

“The contribution has been enriching. They brought about a kind of coherence from their own perspective and I just mediated,” he says. “Whether you have visited these places or not, it will make sense to you. It’s more about having a visual and kinaesthetic sensation; sensorial evoking is crucial here,” he says.

The filmic images are shot by Rupert Schwarzbauer. The production is lit by Pipon on the sets designed by Dominic Dube. Music and sound concept are by Sam Auinger and Martin. Lutz adds to the Carnatic music of Gurumoorthy while Kuppuswamy has given the folk tunes. Ken Furudate, Sanchita and Jyoti Sachdev have made the visuals and costumes vibrant. TransMedia Technologies has provided the technical support.

Attakkalari is supported by The Royal Norwegian Embassy, Sir Ratan Tata Trust, Tata Educational Trust, Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan and The Department of Culture, Government of India.

As part of its education outreach programme, the artists of Attakalari will be conducting workshops and lecture demonstrations in different educational institutions and orphanages in and around Kochi.

For details, contact: 9447221899, 9746208643.

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