"It's all in your head"

Published: 29 November, 2011 08:23 IST | Priyanjali Ghose |

The poetic non-verbal play The Water Station that will be staged at Ranga Shankara tonight will make you hear all that the characters don't utter on stage

The poetic non-verbal play The Water Station that will be staged at Ranga Shankara tonight  will make you hear all that the characters don't utter on stage

"To exist is to be silent or you can say silence reflects existence," says Sankar Venkateswaran, director of the non-verbal play The Water Station.

Written by noted Japanese playwright Shogo Ohta and brought on stage by the Kerala-based group Theatre Roots & Wings, this 120-minutes performance, according to Venkateswaran, is an 'unphasable experience'.

"It is a silent play only in the form. You can hear words which are not spoken by characters on stage inside you," says Venkateswaran.

Based on natural human behaviour, The Water Station revolves around a dripping tap by which nearly 18 travellers stop to quench their parched throats.

None of them speak to each other but their emotions are expressed through physical movements that bring out their pain and pleasure. Their expressions are witnessed by a man, who lives on a junk pile.
But Venkateswaran stresses that The Water Station is not a dance piece and inspired by new theatre forms.

It expresses realities of life through the medium of body. He shares that the actors attended a ten-day workshop by Japanese actress Ando Tomoko, who acted in the first production of the play in Japan back in 1981.

Combining yoga and various other forms like the Chinese martial art Tai Chi, the 15 actors essaying the 17 characters are trained to bring out the unspoken realm of existence.

"We tried several methodologies to teach a slow movement that will enable them to walk two metres of space in 10 minutes," explains Venkateswaran. He adds that the idea is to make it possible for the actor to hold on to the concentration, slowness and stillness and yet make it look natural.

According to Venkateswaran, The Water Station is not only about physical movements. The movements express the intensity of the characters who belong to various walks of life and represent human progression ranging from life to death.

He maintains that the play strictly adheres to the original script and has minimal sets, lights and music. Even the costumes are designed to ensure that the unspoken side of human nature and existence is brought to attention.

Sharing why The Water Station is not constricted by any particular time and space, Venkateswaran says, "It is universal in its appeal. Despite being non verbal, it transcends the boundaries of humanity, language and territories."

Where Ranga Shankara, JP Nagar
On November 29 and 30, 7.30 pm
Call 9886370614
For Rs 100

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