Seeing things differently

Seeing things differently

DANCE DRAMA

Seeing things differently

El Tamimin Arabic means strong, so is the 17-year-old Aneesha Madhok, a writer, director and dancer, who recently staged a dance drama Aliza-Free at Shri Ram Centre. 

 Set in Jerusalem, the play revolves around the female protagonist Aliza, the princess whose life turns upside down when she turns blind.

“The idea behind the birth of Aliza-Free was to create awareness for visually impaired people,” says Aneesha, who wrote the script of the play at the age of 12.  

She explains the theme of her play saying, “The story is set in Israel of 1950s and aims at spreading two messages: One is of resilience — an ability to bounce back after circumstances break you and imagining oneself in  the shoes of a visually impaired person.” 

Neither a remake nor an adaptation, the play retains its originality with the stage setup and Hebrew songs. “The play has not been adapted and it is original. The concept was to create a new style altogether. It is an amalgamation of Aristotle’s philosophy and foreign theatre theory of Augusto Boal,” says Aneesha who has been reading a lot about plays since a young age. 

“The newness that I have tried to incorporate is visible in the middle part of the play, when an actor emerges into a musical sequence and exits his character. I have used a mixture of other theatre theories to give a different touch,” she says.
Choreographed by Fernando Aguilera, the director of Imperial Ballet Co, the play revolved around its motto- an eye to a voice. She was accompanied by National School of Drama (NSD) graduates in the show who relate to her thinking of helping the blind.  “Of the 37 million blind people across the globe, over 15 million live in India, making India home to the largest blind population. This was not a charity event, rather a commitment to extend friendship to at least one visually impaired person, justifying the message of the play,” says Aneesha.  

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox