Cast behind an illuminated panel, the shadow of a woman spoke of her ordeals as she finally breaks open her shackles and decides to speak for herself. The verse entailed a refrain, “Roshni ke shehar mei gungi awaaz cheekhti hui”
Chuppi, one of the final performances of day one of the annual contemporary dance festival Udai 3 touched a chord with the audience as they sat on the edge of their seats watching the dance recital that used sound effects more than music to add to the impact of the performance.
Filled to capacity, the Shri Ram Centre auditorium witnessed a scintillating performance to mark the opening of the festival by Aadhunik, a unit of contemporary dance, which featured four of the eight performances marked for this edition of the festival.
Heralding the festival was the first piece, Energia by choreographer Sangeeta Sharma, the director of Anveshana.
With no specific theme or plot, it explored the use of energy in relation to gravity through fall, rebound, recovery and suspension in movements.
The second act, Lok Aur Tantra was a satire on Indian democracy.
Put forth by the disciples of Krishan Kumar Sharma, the uncanny sound effects and the music in this piece reminded us of the old sitcoms where sound was used to add a dramatic effect rather superfluously.
Interestingly, it worked for this dance performance as it was a dig at our system of governance. Following this thought provoking and entertaining piece which ended up being a tad didactic towards the end was a choreography Bandi, based on a poem of Rabindranath Tagore.
It dwelt upon the theme that a person designs his life in such a way that he feels he is the king of the world, but when the illusion breaks, he realises he is stillshackled to reality.
Inarguably, the final acts, Chuppi and Shoah by Neha Gupta and Himani Sharma, respectively, set a benchmark for the next day’s performers.
Chuppi’s charm was in the use of minimalistic music, as it banked upon its script, pure dancing and the sound effects like that of water droplets.
The Hebrew word shoah that refers to the Holocaust was the theme of Himani Sharma’s act.
It was an artistic and subjective exploration of the reasons and the sentiment behind the great human catastrophe commenting on the common strands and existential links between shoah of yore and the contemporary world where the worth of a human is defined in economic terms.