A play on ‘returning home’

Titled ‘Dust’, it is inspired by Arundhati Roy’s novel ‘The God of Small Things’

A group of artists from Mexico, Australia and India found their way to each other thanks to the Intercultural Theatre Institute (ITI) in Singapore. After working together for several years as students and teachers, they decided to take the plunge.

They formed the ‘Across The River Collective’ with the hopes of bringing together some of their best ideas for physical exploration and articulation of questions dealing with traditional and contemporary thoughts, the connection between the past and the present, and that of realities and the future.

Taking inspiration from Arundhati Roy’s ‘The God of Small Things’, the collective has put together a production, Dust. The play is a physical and experimentative exploration of the theme of returning.

“In the book, we see the characters returning to Ayemenem. We took this idea and fused it with a collage of characters. We took inspiration from our own lives and from the people we have met,” shares Ruiz. The play chronicles a series of stories that showcase men and women returning to their homes, their past and memories, their dreams and their history.

“Art is a way to create a new future and fresh perspectives. We have to deal with social issues, ask questions that make people uncomfortable. As a collective, we want to listen and present to all sides of the story,” says Beto Ruiz, director of the play. Actors Kapila Venu, Kalamandalam Ramith Ramesh, Lakshmana KP, Uma Katju will come together for this non-verbal play that is being directed by Beto Ruiz with the assistance of Alexander Beard.

“The idea of keeping the play non-verbal came from an effort to explore the body as a vessel for many different emotions and feelings,” shares Uma Katju, actor and producer of Dust. It also played into the idea of interculturalism that drives the collective.

“We all come from different parts of the world. Language can often be limiting. The experience is enriched by the fact that it is a silent play,” adds Ruiz. The play is being co-presented by the Spinning Tree Theatre Company.

When: September 10 and 11

Where: Ranga Shankara

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