The Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts hosted two performances by Diya Naidu and Denny Paul, both winners of Robert Bosch Young Choreographer’s Award at Alliance Francaise, in the City recently.
The two dancers gave solo performances, each captivating and mesmerising in its own way.
Denny Paul’s 15 minute performance titled, Uyire was engrossing. Denny was quick and incisive with his movements. The mood was aptly captured in his facial expression and body movements.
Moments of struggle, triumph, joy and sorrow were brought out well in his movements. The theme of this piece was pegged on the phrase ‘now’. The piece talks about how time plays a decisive role in one’s life.
“The present is a continuation of the past and is seen in juxtaposition with that past. The past looms large over much of the present moment and the moment to come,” explains Denny. He says the character in the piece is so mystified by the journey that he feels it imperative to return to the past, recollect, revisit, search and discover the past and what it holds for the present.
Diya Naidu came on in the latter half of the programme to present her piece titled, Nadir.
Talking about her piece Diya said Nadir started out being about isolation. “The piece is about the individual and his or her acceptance and integration to the reality of being completely isolated. When one encounters complete isolation how does one deal with this or react to it? is the crux of the piece,” she says.
Diya portrayed different reaction to isolation such as the act of begging, imploring, pleading...with others. These expressions were strong and powerful. “One would do just about anything to escape the gloom... sacrifice, threats, seduction, blackmail, prayer and many other tools are used to find a way to navigate through this dark confusion. At a later stage in the piece I use marriage as a symbol of intimacy. This option is experimented with and later rejected because it does not seem to hold the answer,” she adds. In the next scene, Diya examined the relationship with the world and the self. “The movement here is drawn from my own personal emotional memories of intimacy and love as well as from the notion of where we come,” she explains.
Nadir, says Diya is a personal story about a universal dilemma, much like the attempt to answer the question that inspires it. “The facial expression has not been planned or choreographed. It is challenging because I flit in and out of characters, caricatures and deep personal memories,” she adds.
Those in the audience said that both the performances had a lot of emotion and power packed into it. “I liked the way Denny used his body to portray the different emotions and Diya was intense in every sense of the term. She communicated more with her eyes,” says Jagdish Saha, a theatre person.