Acting on the move

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At a time when the funding for the arts is going down day-by-day everywhere, India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) will be organising a festival called ‘Project 560’ till June 8 to help artists around the City find performing spaces.

The festival began with a panel discussion consisting of Lawrence Liang, Vikram Hathwar and Suresh Jayaram.

The headlining act of the day was a documentary by the Sadhana Centre for Creative Practice called ‘Carnival on Wheels’. It begins by asking a simple question — what is a bus, and moves on to the journey of how the performers gave life to a rickety old bus by transforming it into a mobile stage.

The Thrissur-based group travels across rural Kerala, acting and singing their way into people’s heart. “We mainly do socio-political themed plays that aren’t relevant to an urban crowd,” said Saji, one of the main people behind this idea. Arundhati Ghosh, the executive director of IFA, said that usually for performance art, there are invites but the beauty of found space projects is that they are not conscious decisions.

 “People don’t have time for art anymore. That’s why, on any given day, even in a mall perhaps, a person may chance upon these artists who will enrich that day.”“The idea is to provide a space that inspires, engages and is outside the proscenium. We don’t want to blur the lines between the performer and audience; instead we’d like to engage with the audience as much as possible,” says Samarpita Samaddar.

Found space projects have hit a couple of roadblocks. Saji said the bus is dormant right now because they are running around for licenses. Whether they own a government or private bus, using it for anything but its intended usage is not permitted according to the law.

IFA has shortlisted six grantees from 23 candidates and those artists will be performing throughout the next few days all over the City. The grantees have been training for months for this performance.

The performers are Rangasiri (Big ‘Ben’ Galuru), Dimple Shah (Basavanagudi live art project), Jeetin Rangher (Art Adda), Mallika Prasad and Ram Ganesh Kamatham (Mall-Wall), Mounesh Badiger (Maasti Chocolate) and 080:30 (Ice Spot and Billboard Sur-Faces).

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