Making a style statement

Making a style statement


They came in singles, pairs and groups. They touted musical instruments, clutched reams of poetry or discreetly carried in magician’s props. They had long hair, afros, shaven heads or wigs and were dressed in funky flowing cottons or formal dark suits. However, different they looked and seemed, their one aim was to go up on stage and wow the audience with their talent.

The scene of all this buzz was Kyra, the Be-In where Monica Dogra, the better looking half of Shaa’ir + Func (Shaa’ir being Monica Dogra, and Func being her partner Randolph Correia of Pentagram) would talk the participants through their various performances and acts giving them both a platform to strut their stuff on and plenty of encouragement. None of that meant reality television style formula, thank goodness.

Of course nothing starts on time in this City (probably due to the pollution) so when the programme reads 7 pm, it is not unusual by Bangalore standards to saunter in leisurely and start by 9 pm, which is exactly what happened here.

First up was a magician with his usual bag of tricks who pulled 1000 rupee notes out of burnt bits of newspaper and made lots of stuff disappear and reappear. Never mind that we have seen it all before and think we know how it’s done, everybody still gets a big kick out of it.

Monica Dogra, clad in a red and black skirt with boots that showed off her legs to their best advantage, strode on stage and sang to the gathering after sportingly helping the magician out with his tricks. Her performance was followed by a couple of poetry reading sessions by young wannabe poets full of philosophy and feelings that Monica tried hard to interpret for the benefit of the audience and jamming sessions by different local bands. Rajeev and the Rebels, Swaratma and Bottle Flower Seeds were among the groups that performed a mix of fusion, original compositions and popular numbers.
“The idea is to encourage young people to be brave, and come up and perform before a live audience even if a few innocent music tracks get butchered along the way,” said Monica.