Wednesday, Feb 01, 2023

Dance of Light and Shadow

Aditi Mangaldas on her new work,Within,which forced her to journey into the depths of her soul

After exploring questions such as ‘Can one live creatively,live in the now’ and the concept of ‘timeless’ in the past,you’ve moved into your own self in your latest work,Within.

Choreographing Within has required us to move into ourselves and explore our deepest,even the most disturbing,emotions. A series of socioeconomic brutality triggered this exploration a few months ago,but we moved away from all these and began to trace the interplay of darkness and light,brutality and humanity,masculinity and femininity,and good and evil in ourselves. The process of creating this piece has sometimes been too close for comfort. When I began conceptualising Within,I revisited mythological stories in the context of the social turmoil of our times. These have become the subterranean stream that feed the work.

When you looked within,did you only find darkness prevailing?

Within is in two parts,Knotted and Unwrapped,with the first,a contemporary dance piece based on kathak,being quite disturbing. We hope to invoke this bleakness in the audience. But,I am actually a hopeful,positive person. Unwrapped,a classical kathak piece,questions whether transformation of the inner-self is possible. Kabir and philosophers such as J Krishnamurti say it is. Thus,Within is both,‘knotted’ up in our emotions,and ‘unwrapped’ of them. I was inspired by the emptiness and eternal space of the sidhha sculpture — an empty cut-out of a statue through which one can see the sky or the wall.

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How have you used music,poetry,sets and lights to support your movements in this piece?

We have used an original composition of Pt Kumar Gandharva as well as spoken words ‘Wrapped up in yourself’ by Kashmiri poet Lal Ded (translated by Ranjit Hoskote),and poetry by Kabir and Hazrat Shah Niaz,among others. Sculptor Manish Kansara has attempted to transform the polarity that Within explores into the sets,while the lighting depicts the brutal turning of human beings,among other ideas of the piece.

Within will be staged at Kamani Auditorium from today to Sept 15 at 7.30 pm. Donor passes: Rs 450-100. Contact: 43503350

First published on: 15-09-2013 at 02:29 IST
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