With theatres shut, no live-stage performances, and festivals on a halt due to the COVID-19 outbreak, artists (rather the culture ambassadors) are struggling to make ends meet. Even with ease in the lockdown, it will be months before people venture out regularly to attend shows, given the new normal code of social distancing.
To do its bit, Raw Mango has joined hands with celebrated Kathak dancer and choreographer, Aditi Mangaldas and #ARTMATTERS (an initiative of Teamwork Fine Arts Society) to raise funds and support artists and their families who are left in a lurch without a source of income.This isn’t the first time the Raw Mango Founder and Fashion Designer, Sanjay Garg, has collaborated with Mangaldas.
“Aditi’s performance at our Baithak in Delhi was our first collaboration. The way she questions and re-imagines norms within Kathak is inspiring. She depicts the art’s evolution over time. There’s a strong connection between narratives in this regard,” says Garg.
During a conversation with Garg, Mangaldas mentioned that many artists and performers were in a lurch, especially without knowing the when theaters and cinemas will open. And the solution that emerged was Within...from Within, a series of six short films conceptualised, choreographed and directed by Mangaldas and performed by her dance company, The Drishtikon Dance Foundation.
“We had approached Raw Mango with the proposal of Within...from Within, which is sourced from our original work WITHIN along with our current creative impulse from the confines of our homes,” says Mangaldas.
Both the brands believe in the widening of circles and connectivity between the arts and hence, the collaboration worked very well. “They suggested that we should crowd fund and raise awareness and money for the many artists, who are left without any form of sustenance and are struggling for their survival. Also, Raw Mango has a wide network, who may have the financial capacity to donate if they wish to,” adds Mangaldas.
Kathak is about communication, Katha kahe so kathak!, explains Mangaldas. “Our stories suddenly changed during the lockdown, and so did our way of communication. It is futile to cut-paste the past into the current reality. Hence, as a dancer and choreographer, I had to re-imagine and transform the art that I knew, and recreate it within this new reality. Thus, was born Within…From Within,” says the artist.
The works narrate various expressions of life and are elaborate yet offer delicate visual offerings – a fragile thread weaving emotion and passion, instincts and sentiments, spirit and soul: past and present, all into one fabric. “I consider this as an offering to bring the viewer something to cherish rather than just an appeal,” adds Mangaldas.
“Raw Mango is very happy to be supporting this project by contributing and sharing it through our platforms. Art Matters/Teamworks will also help us reach and support a wider community of artists who are struggling during this time,” concludes Garg.