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Indian Ensemble’s first show post pandemic combines fiction and realityWhen the country was getting affected by the pandemic’s long lull, writer and director duo Saudamini Kalra and Tushar Mathew spent that time observing the sudden change and its effect on the environment, turning the negativity around the lockdown to a positive event. “Since our work is of public nature, we were directly affected by the lockdown, but we learnt to see the good side of it and what we noticed in our immediate surroundings,” says Saudamini, adding that this led to an interesting discussion around rare bird sightings, which then sowed the seeds of an interesting story.
Called A Zoom Call Re:Birds, the makers call it a performative audio-visual experience made for the digital medium and free from geographical boundaries. “It is an attempt to use the medium of Zoom, which became the medium for work – artistic or otherwise- during the pandemic, and to see what all is possible to combine the narratives of storytelling and audiovisual elements any such platform provides,” she explains.
Speaking about the story, Saudamini says, “We have combined fictional elements with reality in this play, which is a series of interviews with a young man called A Karruppuraja from Pothakudi village in Tamil Nadu, who found himself at the centre of a grassroots movement triggered by a mysterious bird. He noticed a bunch of Robin’s eggs in one of the electricity boards and urged the entire village to keep the street lights off and wait till the eggs hatched. And through this play, we get to know a bit more about the heart of his philosophy and his interest in birds, which enabled him to take this step.”
Talking about the challenge in trying something new like this, she adds, “One big challenge was how to make a show on a platform that we ourselves get tired of, while also making a convincing case and making it seem intimate, to recreate a sense of community through the narrative.”
The 60-minute long play is in English and Tamil (with English subtitles) language and has been narrated by both Saudamini and Tushar through graphics and audiovisuals.
Indian Ensemble’s first show post pandemic combines fiction and reality
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