Saturday, 6 June 2020

Going viral, Going global: An artistic response to the challenges in the times of Corona - Soch: Column by Dr. Arshiya Sethi

In one of my earlier columns titled 'With "a lover's smile": Strengthening resolve in the times of Corona', that came out on April 25, 2020 , I had talked about how the arts were capable of carrying even difficult messages, because they charmed, like a "lover's smile". I pegged the column on an enactment of a poem, in dance, by Kathak dancer and data analyst Mrinalini, on the conditions we were facing during the times of Corona. It effectively told us of the constraints to our lives in the 'stay at home' circumstances, the protocols we had to follow of washing hands, sanitizing, physical distancing and reminding us of our social responsibilities, even while kindling a flame of hope. It was based on a powerful Hindi poem by Kuldeep Mishra. This reached us in a digital format and being on social media it is in a way immortalised and will always be there for reference. While in this column I was excited that this artistic piece had been picked up to be part of a news show, the column that I write today, takes off from Mrinalini's effort but takes us to a local artistic response that became a global endeavour with dancers, young and old, senior and junior, freshers and icons, Indian and international, coming together to mark the challenges in the times of Corona, and the only way forward.

It was sent to me very tentatively by Delhi based dance photographer, Innee Singh. Innee's real and formal name is Indirpal Singh. But I can assure you no one knows him by his full name. Innee is an unusual but winning mix of shy and friendly. For those who have got used to the brilliant photo-lens signature of the legendary Avinash Pasricha's work in dance photography, you may have noticed that there are nowadays some photographs, particularly of the younger generation dancers, that don't follow Avinash-ji's lines. If you have seen them, you would have noticed it. And if you have noticed them, then there is a strong possibility that they are the work of Innee Singh.

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