Step into her shoes

Updated: 30 September, 2020 10:47 IST | Sukanya Datta | Mumbai

A crowdfunded dance platform brings together two performances through which women tell their stories

Dancer Ronita Mookerji in Amorphous, a dance-film performance
Dancer Ronita Mookerji in Amorphous, a dance-film performance

A woman's body is a growing repository of the histories of her mother, grandmother, daughters, etc, and the power dynamics that shaped their lives and her gendered view of herself, believes Santacruz-based filmmaker Priyanshi Vasani. But what if a body can be addressed without the limitations of gender identity? That's an idea Vasani will be toying along with Bengaluru-based dancer Ronita Mookerji in a virtual dance-film performance titled Amorphous, at Ctrl.Alt.Femme — the fourth chapter of the crowdfunded dance platform At The Still Point, curated by the Kolkata-based ideation agency Artsforward. The platform, put together by director Paramita Saha, is an attempt to make the audience a stakeholder in an artiste's performance.

Conceived over two years, Amorphous, Vasani tells us, is a performance born out of Mookerji's introspection of her body, their travels to her childhood home in Kalimpong, conversations with the women in her family, and their own relationship embedded in empathy. The performance, she describes, is a journey of moving portraits of the dancer that Vasani has shot, in sync with her live movements. "It brings together the subjective and objective voices — Mookerji expressing something inside her, and the way I view her, giving her story a tangible touch." In a digital format, the show will be a dialogue between the dancer's improvised and structured contemporary movements, Vasani's visuals, different features of Zoom, and the audience, who view her through many cameras.

Priyanshi Vasani and Paramita Saha
Priyanshi Vasani and Paramita Saha

The layered performance will be streamed live as Vasani and Mookerji collaborate from Mumbai and Bengaluru, shares Saha. The other performance, Atho Hidimba Katha (AHK), on the same day, will be put up by the Kolkata-based collective Samuho. The theatre-dance piece, which will be live-streamed, will bring to life the story of the demoness Hidimba — from the Mahabharata — who creates her own version of the epic on behalf of the marginalised who go missing from history. The idea behind bringing these two pieces together is rooted in the way women have suffered over time, and now in the lockdown, says Saha. "Abuse has been at an all-time high, their workload is increasing and no one is talking about it. In a way, the stories of women are the narratives of all those who've been marginalised. How a society treats its women reflects its own state," she concludes.

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First Published: 30 September, 2020 10:05 IST

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