BANGALORE : Three independent artistes will present a mélange of stories depicting the experiences of women in contemporary India on October 31 at Rangoli, Rangasthala Theatre, MG Road Boulevard.
The performance, titled Recap, is a medley of three pieces by Avril Stormy Unger, Sowmya Jaganmurthy and Archana Kumar, who have presented the acts separately at different spaces to express their daily lives as women in a patriarchal society.
After finding that all of them spoke of similar issues, and in order to find newer ways of staging their concerns, the three women came together to form Recap, says Sowmya Jaganmurthy.
The latest performance will use simple props, ancient poetry and powerful music by Arjun Chandran and Kamal Singh.
Unger's piece, 'Fearless', talks about the various stages of fear that women experience and is based on the real-life stories of women in modern India.
Jaganmurthy's '3 Knots' looks at the strengths and extremities of love through Mirabai's life. It deals with societal confinements and taboos that often induce rebellion.
Archana Kumar's 'Monki C Monki Do' explores societal conditioning, mob mentality and questions the desperation to embody diverse roles.
"A woman’s life is not easy. When I took to dancing 10 years ago, a lot of people hated my guts. Relatives questioned my motive. They all had one question, 'what is the need to dance?' When I connected with Mirabai’s poems, I felt the urge to break through, to be free. I too have a daughter. I don’t want her to be a part of a society that constantly tells its women how their life should be," says Archana.
Sowmya has a persistent feeling of being caged and stifled by patriarchy. "Everything about how a woman is objectified disturbs me. I am stared at constantly. I am judged by the way I dress, by the way I speak, by the way I laugh. Men can never understand this frustration," she says.
She recalls how a friend was once harassed by an auto driver. He had conveniently taken a wrong turn into a bylane. When questioned, he coolly told her that he was taking her to his house. "She had to jump out to save her life," she recounts.
In her upcoming performance Sowmya will use a long flowing fabric tied to two pillars to mirror her emotions and her desperate effort to break free from the invisible arms of a patriarchal society.
Archana will use broken glass pieces to dramatise mob mentality. "She will stand in front of a broken mirror and imitate herself. Each separate piece of glass will reflect the same image, making it a crowd where every face is the same, where one influences the other," says Sowmya and adds, "People are not aware of what goes behind closed doors. They are not aware of how frustrated women feel when they are stared at every time they step out. This performance, we hope, will take the message far and create some awareness."
They also plan to take their performances to the streets. "I also perform at pubs and cafes. We will soon explore unique spaces in the city to target more people. Mostly those who won’t come for a ticketed show to an auditorium," Sowmya says.
Passes for the show are priced at `200 and are available at the venue. Call 9901156754 for details.