An odyssey on wheels

An odyssey  on wheels

The Bus and the Travelling Bards’, an artistic presentation and a screening of a film, was brought together by India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) at The Park, recently.

Bringing together two projects by IFA grantees, Martin John Chalissery and Saji Kadampattil, they presented ‘The Bus and the Travelling Bards’, an artist presentation about a bus, which is a travelling stage and was used to explore new frameworks for performance and cultivate new audiences.


While Bangalore-based musician and sound designer, Saji Kadampattil, was supported by IFA to undertake research into the poetry of  Kadamanitta Ramakrishnan Nair and the ritual folk performance form Padayani, towards creating a new performance work; he met Martin during a grantee orientation programme and a new collaboration began to emerge. The result was Odichodichu – Oru Bus Natakam, a performance on the bus and Oorali, a band.

To give the City’s art enthusiasts a teaser into their project, the duo narrated their theatrical journey, with humourous tid-bits and an action-packed presentation. While they used small theatrical props to add colour to the presentation, they also involved the audience by making them clap and interactive. The presentation was followed by ‘Carnival on Wheels’, a 30-minute-film directed by Sachindev which captured the essence of Saji and Martin’s collaboration.

Martin said that the presentation was meant to break the official space of theatre. “We always intend to explore how we can reach the people more, within a lesser time frame,” said Martin. He said that it was a great chance to showcase their work.

“Not everyone can love what we intended to do and not everyone will be able to appreciate the form and language used. But we wanted to use the space to put our art out there,” said Martin.
 Martin said that though the bus project had only moved around in Thrissur, Kerala, he and the team hope to get more exposure for the same here.

 “A lot of specifics varying from the bus permit need to be figured out, if the project has to be taken forward. But at the moment, we are trying to make the people aware that we have given different social themes an interactive platform.”

Saji, who was excited about the comments received, said, “This was an experiment in progress and something we have been trying for a long while. It’s a very monotonous and boring format to just sit and talk about something, so we tried to create a bigger impact with a different style.”

He said that the presentation was about the other project that Saji was doing along with the background of the bus experience. He added, “The audience was impressed with the boldness the artistes showcased in the presentation, making it different from the usual ones.”

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