Moving with grace

TO BE EDITED*******

 

I no longer remember what my parents looked like,

I have forgotten.

I remember their voices,

When I was a child, I played in the sand,

At the beach.

They spoke softly,

So as not to disturb the sea…

Small grains of sand,

Among thousands of other small grains of sand,

I had many friends, I was happy…

I no longer remember what my parents looked like.

One day,

They took me to the doors of a desert,

They placed me on a low wall,

And…They left me there.
Between a person in search for identity and another fending for his dreams ~ in the words of James Joyce: ‘bearing a chalice through a thong of foes’ — is a child peeping out. A child and a paradox — one that has life has no identity and one who has identity has not many years to live. Compagnie Morespace’s Eastward is a journey of a man towards his roots and the time when his mother had deserted him while Sapnasadhani’s adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Daakghar speaks of a life anchored to hope and dreams. Interface’08 by Sapphire’s Creation, in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Young Indians (YI), presented stories of loss, longing and more during the International Festival of Alternative and Contemporary Expressions. Tagore’s Daakghar (presented by Sapnashadhani, directed by Koushik Sen) was about a child who suffered from an incurable disease. The doctor had given up hope and said the slightest of exposure to sun or wind would further shorten his life. Amal, the child, lives each second of his life locked in a room. He craves to visit distant lands and see unknown places and when nobody takes them there, his imagination wanders. He wants to be doiwala and finds music in his haak, He wants to be a postman and a flower seller… During his short span of life, he lives a thousand lives. But Amal waits for a letter from the king. Resolute that the king would write to him, Amal keeps waiting. He waits for believe, love and, above all, nurtures in his heart perhaps the most dangerous of all wishes possible in today’s world — the wish to see everyone around him happy. The Indian premier of Switzerland’s Compagnie Morespace’s Vers L’est (or Eastward Even Farther), like any other journey to the unknown, provokes the paradoxical urge to reconsider and redefine one’s own origins. The performance was choreographed and presented by Michel Casanovas and Ambrose Laudani. Casanovas talks to The Statesman…

A child and a paradox — one that has life has no identity and one who has identity has not many years to live. Compagnie Morespace’s Eastward is a journey of a man towards his roots and the time when his mother had deserted him while Sapnasadhani’s adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s Daakghar speaks of a life anchored to hope and dreams. Interface’08 by Sapphire’s Creation, in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Young Indians (YI), presented stories of loss, longing and more during the International Festival of Alternative and Contemporary Expressions. Tagore’s Daakghar (presented by Sapnashadhani, directed by Koushik Sen) was about a child who suffered from an incurable disease. The doctor had given up hope and said the slightest of exposure to sun or wind would further shorten his life. Amal, the child, lives each second of his life locked in a room. He craves to visit distant lands and see unknown places and when nobody takes them there, his imagination wanders. He wants to be doiwala and finds music in his haak, He wants to be a postman and a flower seller… During his short span of life, he lives a thousand lives. But Amal waits for a letter from the king. Resolute that the king would write to him, Amal keeps waiting. He waits for believe, love and, above all, nurtures in his heart perhaps the most dangerous of all wishes possible in today’s world — the wish to see everyone around him happy. The Indian premier of Switzerland’s Compagnie Morespace’s Vers L’est (or Eastward Even Farther), like any other journey to the unknown, provokes the paradoxical urge to reconsider and redefine one’s own origins. The performance was choreographed and presented by Michel Casanovas and Ambrose Laudani. Casanovas talks to The Statesman…

Interface’08 by Sapphire’s Creation, in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Young Indians (YI), presented stories of loss, longing and more during the International Festival of Alternative and Contemporary Expressions. Tagore’s Daakghar (presented by Sapnashadhani, directed by Koushik Sen) was about a child who suffered from an incurable disease. The doctor had given up hope and said the slightest of exposure to sun or wind would further shorten his life. Amal, the child, lives each second of his life locked in a room. He craves to visit distant lands and see unknown places and when nobody takes them there, his imagination wanders. He wants to be doiwala and finds music in his haak, He wants to be a postman and a flower seller… During his short span of life, he lives a thousand lives. But Amal waits for a letter from the king. Resolute that the king would write to him, Amal keeps waiting. He waits for believe, love and, above all, nurtures in his heart perhaps the most dangerous of all wishes possible in today’s world — the wish to see everyone around him happy. The Indian premier of Switzerland’s Compagnie Morespace’s Vers L’est (or Eastward Even Farther), like any other journey to the unknown, provokes the paradoxical urge to reconsider and redefine one’s own origins. The performance was choreographed and presented by Michel Casanovas and Ambrose Laudani. Casanovas talks to The Statesman…

Tagore’s Daakghar (presented by Sapnashadhani, directed by Koushik Sen) was about a child who suffered from an incurable disease. The doctor had given up hope and said the slightest of exposure to sun or wind would further shorten his life. Amal, the child, lives each second of his life locked in a room. He craves to visit distant lands and see unknown places and when nobody takes them there, his imagination wanders. He wants to be doiwala and finds music in his haak, He wants to be a postman and a flower seller… During his short span of life, he lives a thousand lives. But Amal waits for a letter from the king. Resolute that the king would write to him, Amal keeps waiting. He waits for believe, love and, above all, nurtures in his heart perhaps the most dangerous of all wishes possible in today’s world — the wish to see everyone around him happy. The Indian premier of Switzerland’s Compagnie Morespace’s Vers L’est (or Eastward Even Farther), like any other journey to the unknown, provokes the paradoxical urge to reconsider and redefine one’s own origins. The performance was choreographed and presented by Michel Casanovas and Ambrose Laudani. Casanovas talks to The Statesman…

The Indian premier of Switzerland’s Compagnie Morespace’s Vers L’est (or Eastward Even Farther), like any other journey to the unknown, provokes the paradoxical urge to reconsider and redefine one’s own origins. The performance was choreographed and presented by Michel Casanovas and Ambrose Laudani. Casanovas talks to The Statesman…

You were inspired to write this piece…It is a story of Ambrose Laudani, who was nine months old when his mother left him at an orphanage in Kerala. She then disappeared. Five years later, an Italian family adopted him. Today, he is an accomplished dancer. The orphanage called itself Providence Home… Ambrose returned to the orphanage between December 2006 and February 2007. Compaign Morespace improvised with Indian dancers, made recordings on video and was inspired by the sights, sounds and colours around Ambrose. This experience is at the root of Eastward, a project featuring dance, music and video. The central theme is that of a rootless individual and his search for identity ~ a fragmented being sets out, en route, in motion, to examine countless doubts and scattered beliefs.

It is a story of Ambrose Laudani, who was nine months old when his mother left him at an orphanage in Kerala. She then disappeared. Five years later, an Italian family adopted him. Today, he is an accomplished dancer. The orphanage called itself Providence Home… Ambrose returned to the orphanage between December 2006 and February 2007. Compaign Morespace improvised with Indian dancers, made recordings on video and was inspired by the sights, sounds and colours around Ambrose. This experience is at the root of Eastward, a project featuring dance, music and video. The central theme is that of a rootless individual and his search for identity ~ a fragmented being sets out, en route, in motion, to examine countless doubts and scattered beliefs.
East is often related to anything exotic….Eastward takes place between two separate worlds and brings about a collision of two distinct cultures, India and Europe, with rhythms. It is about the physical East, about the Orient, but also about the East foreigners don’t know.
What made Compagnie Morespace take up this project? This is a distinct feature of our group. It’s not fixed. People join and are free to go anytime they want. We pick up ideas. Compagnie Morespace has been working since 1996 on different themes and offers audience not just a performance but also raises questions. Ambrose’s idea appealed to everyone. The starting point for this new project is the intensely lived personal experience. In a choreography using natural movement, it follows the development of this personal realm as it unfolds through relationships and emotional and sensory interactions, all revolving around one given theme: abandonment.
How did you improvise upon an experience to make it a dance-based performance?The company spent eight months experimenting and exploring movements. They searched for a vocabulary and language for the movement that would come as close as possible to transmitting the feeling and “colour” of loss felt by an abandoned child. The act of listening, silence, and the simplicity of single gestures — great challenges for a dancer — make this an intense piece of work. The effort of letting go, in contrast to that of action, allows hidden memories to emerge and take on new life through movement. The choreography alternates between contrasting rhythms. Raw, natural movements burst forth with pure energy in contrast to minimal gestures that develop slowly, with control, and are sometimes inspired by Indian dances.
Is this your first visit to India? This is my fifth visit to India but the first time when I am here with a piece. This time my visit is not just as a tourist but also as a worker.
What have you planned to do next? I will be in India for the next five months. My aim would be to experiment more and more and in the process understand my strengths. In these five months I would be concentrating on teaching and giving people what I have earned in terms of experience. I would be conducting classes in Mumbai and Bangalore, besides Kolkata. The sessions would be more of interaction and knowing each other to see where we stand. I also seek to conduct classes on Feldenkrais. In India, there is yoga, but in Europe, Feldenkrais is quite popular for its therapeutic benefits.
Evolution of contemporary dance in India…The body is not just a body. Indian artists are open to changes and that can very well be misused. Contemporary art breaks boundaries not to defy aesthetics. Improvisation is actually exploration of your own body and the space around. One needs to dance to feel bliss. I saw somebody perform Bharatnatyam. I did not enjoy it. After the performance the same artist improvised and that was wonderful.

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One thought on “Moving with grace

  1. Hi Soma, loved reading your blog. I am from Bangalore and actually landed here, when I was searching the internet for information on Feldenkrais. I see that you have mentioned about the possibility of you hosting classes in India.

    Can you please share info on Feldenkrais centres in India? My niece is a special child (CP) and I am looking to Feldenkrais for some answers. My email ID is karthik2@gmail.com. Look forward to hearing from you and thanks so much for your time.

    Like

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