Art expresses pain more poignantly than the reality staring in your face does. It pinpoints suffering to the exclusion of the paraphernalia of reality. In this unusual and telling multimedia production The Damned, the concluding compact one-hour piece in Darpana Academy’s trilogy on displacement at InterArt 2013-14, the 38th Vikram Sarabhai International Arts Festival, demonstrates a modern process of rasanishpatti through an ensemble of choreography, videoscapes, music, sounds, silences, lights and even costumes.
Prompted by the disturbing sudden disappearance of groups of people working on the riverside, turned into a riverfront now, and finding them officially ‘resettled’ in an inhabitable area far away, The Damned seeks to create empathy among those who have the voice in the ‘sanitized’ mainstream of life for those who have no voice and suffer silently. In keeping with the concept of rasanishpatti in Indian aesthetics, the painful experience the piece creates becomes sadharanikrit (universalized). With no text, which could tend to make the central event specific, the experience comes across as one shared by those displaced by war, riots, industrialization, natural calamities and the like.
Naomi gets the performers of Darpana so infused with intensity that they were seen hugging one another with tears at the end in something of an inconsolable state of mind. Being a temporal art, unlike literature, dance vanishes the moment it comes into being. Yadavan Chandran partly makes up for this limitation. He gets moments of high emotional intensity frozen in time with the camera charged with his own craft and commitment. The focus of the performance remained on the cause. Anonymity about its makers enhanced its impact. No names were announced at the end. Someone was heard saying it was Naomi’s conscious decision.
(The trilogy of performances is scheduled to travel to the capital next month.)
The interview with Naomi Deira below seeks to unravel her approach and process:
Read the interview in the site