Breaking all barriers

Breaking all barriers

Beyond Stereotypes

Breaking all barriers

Theatres of the Body’, a workshop, was recently held at Jaaga, as a part of the ‘Bengaluru Pride and ’.The workshop started with everyone sitting in a circle, after which the go-abouts of the workshop were explained.

Everyone was told to remember two terms: ASS (assumptions — don’t make them) and CRABS (confidentiality, respect, attentiveness, be open and sensitivity), throughout the workshop. Various tools were taught to the group and interactive sessions were held, through which the group got to know one another. Many sessions were held, including one in which they were taught about voice modulation and voice tools.  In another session, they were asked to feel each other’s hands, making them confident about their own bodies.

 After these sessions, the participants were split into different groups and were asked to make a performance piece, which would be put up after the workshop.Kareem Khubchandani, a performance artiste who conducted the workshop, says, “A lot of people are not confident to talk about their own bodies — we just wanted to attain that confidence. All the participants took the workshop pretty seriously, once we got into the flow.”

The pieces that the participants performed were based on themes that varied from their first kisses, sex and love, conforming to gender rules and more.Ravishankar B T, an engineer at a research organisation, spoke about how he felt at home at the workshop.
“It’s spectacular how in a few hours, we were able to produce such amazing pieces; it was because each of those pieces was drawn from our own experiences. This was a space which allowed me to be myself,” he says.

 “To be with such lovely people from the community gives that sense of belonging. I don’t have to worry about my way of talking, walking and gestures,” he adds.Another participant of the workshop, Parul Sharma, a student, says, “I have been a part of various workshops but this one was unique because it focussed on the body — exclusively, on using the body to communicate and express. It helped me connect with my body and made me more aware of the way I’m using it.”

A few folks from the US, who are visiting the City, also came for the workshop.
Rachel, from Texas, says, “It’s nice to see a place for people to express and be themselves in the way they like.”  Byuri, from Seattle, was unaware of the workshop’s background and felt it was wonderful to be able to interact with strangers and express oneself so openly.