“If I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution.”
– Emma Goldman.
The itch in that place which you can’t scratch when someone is around – ever asked yourself why? Touches that you crave for from the person you love, yet you hold back in public – ever wondered why? The logic that tells you it’s a lie but you still don’t contradict it because it’s a popular belief –ever asked yourself why? Society hurts you and you beg and plead to understand and reason– ever wondered why?
Because you are you!
But Shruti, Sreejita, Priya, Satakshi and Debarati belong to a creed which just doesn’t follow the popular ‘Let’s keep my head down’ rule. They were the birds of fire that flew on the stage of Academy of Fine Arts last Sunday and repeatedly challenged multiple conservative corners of general tradition and the mentality of society with their dance. The live fusion music that could be heard from behind them throughout the performance worked like a catalyst in transporting us to a world without boundaries.
>> Moments from Praatohkrityo <<
Understanding and appreciating the performance depends on the individual capacity to break free from the shackles of ancient restricting beliefs of Indian society and personal flexibility. Luckily we have Joyraj Bhattacharjee, the choreographer and brain behind what we saw on stage in a conversation which will try to explore Praatohkrityo and perhaps help us in understanding.
BongRong: Let us start by saluting every member of your team for the sheer guts that was showcased on stage. What is dance-theatre for you?
Joyraj: Dance theatre is not what we understand as ‘Nritya Natya’. It is philosophically and politically anti-classical, where you are breaking the norms of dance using theatrical devices and offering a new open-ended code for the audience to decode.
BongRong: Let’s talk specifics.What were the goals behind staging a show like this?
Joyraj: To be specific – our goal is to criticize patriarchy, nationalism and fundamentalism. To be more specific – our goal is to fight against the agenda of religio-political groups.
BongRong: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced on the road to Academy of Fine Arts?
Joyraj: Money. We do not have enough money to provide our performers a healthy meal after rehearsals.
BongRong: The dance forms we saw on stage don’t belong to any dance genre we generally see in Kolkata. Would you please tell our readers a little about it?
Joyraj: Ranjabatidi tried to explore new movements but after her death, it is sad but true, no groups tried to take any risk. They played safe. They wanted to be secure. But we believe, what you can offer as an artist is your uncertainty. Uncertainty, but with utmost sincerity and conviction. Now these two are opposites. And when two opposites meet, the third wave emerges. This is Third Wave Dance.
BongRong: What was the basic idea behind the live music we heard throughout the performance?
Joyraj: No we did not hear music throughout the performance. We heard the silence and the noise also. Musicians are an integral part of our performance. The sound they produced emerged and evolved through rehearsals only.
BongRong: Why this and why now?
Joyraj: Because we are living in a fascist state now. So we had to react in this manner.
BongRong: So, what’s next for Praatohkrityo?
Joyraj: We want to do more Praatohkrityo.