This workshop teaches children about 'clowning around'

Updated: Jan 05, 2017, 13:54 IST | Suprita Mitter |

A Mexican dance-theatre company is in Mumbai with a new act and will hold a workshop that tells kids it’s okay to clown around

Scenes from Vagabond

WHEN Emiliano Cárdenas first started the company Triciclo Rojo, he spent a year living in Delhi. 'It all began here, and we are thrilled to be in India on the occasion of our 10th anniversary. The coming together of clowning and dancing in a poetic form is the basis of the group,' says Pilar Campo, who has been performing with the company since its inception. The Mexican group will perform in the city as part of India's first multi-city International Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences (TIFLI). They will present their non-verbal act, Vagabond, a story of three characters in search of happiness. Cazzo, Lazzo and Pozzo, the vagabonds, embark on a journey and find a dandelion, fix an old lighthouse, and learn many values along the way.

Scenes from Vagabond

'The idea is to show children that their ideas have value. They have to fight for their dreams and make them come true. It also says that everyone has an opportunity to change their own reality,' shares Campo. The 50-minute act uses digital animation and its relationship with kinetics. There is also an unusual aesthetic that blends the clowning and dance to the poetical world of children. The American Mad Marionettes group has created the original music while Emiliano Cárdenas created the original theatrical idea in collaboration with Francous Duregne, a French dramatist clown.

The group will also conduct workshops for six to 14-year-olds based on a play they will present; it will include elements of dance and clowning. 'We love to work with children because they have energy. They are also free-spirited and that's something clowns have in common with them,' shares Campo. 'The toughest part of being a clown is to unlearn the things that society teaches you and do what you are naturally constructed to do. We teach children to use their imagination and create their own world where they are not being afraid of being made fun of or of failing,' she adds.

Scenes from Vagabond

The workshop will feature activities centred around using one's imagination and emotions. 'We have an activity where we ask the children to imagine they are in a bubble. To then touch, feel, paint and describe it. We also give them an object and ask them to transform it in their minds. It is important for them to rely on their instincts,' she says.

The group was touring in Kolkata and Delhi last week and is gearing up for Mumbai now. 'India is so diverse. Each city so far has felt like being in a different country. We're sure Mumbai will be an unique experience for us too, and we find that most refreshing,' Campo concludes.

Children's workshops
(Age group: 6 to 10 years)
ON Today time: 4.30pm and 6 pm AT: P L Deshpande Maharashtra Arts Academy, Sayani Rd, Prabhadevi.
CALL: 9769088514 
COST: Rs 100

Vagabound 
ON December: 8 time , 11 am, 
1.30 pm and 7.30 pm
AT Yashwant Natya Mandir, J K Sawant Marg, Matunga (W).
CALL: 24333225 
COST: Rs 200

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