Sujay Saple’s devised performance piece Unselfed will take you on a journey of your own life and experiences

What if you met yourself? What would you say to or feel about this other you? Would you talk to this other you or avoid him or her? What would the encounter do to your self perception? Unselfed, a devised performance by Mumbai-based theatre personality Sujay Saple, explores these various aspects to the self.

After an impressive run in Pondicherry and at Chennai, Unselfed will be staged at Ranga Shankara over this weekend. Sujay Saple, a Mumbai-based theatre artist, has worked in different capacities in theatre: as a performer, an assistant director, lighting designer and a conductor of workshops. He brings these various experiences to his work, and has, over the years, evolved a unique idiom in theatre.

Unselfed involves the collaboration between dancers and theatre performers that explores the self in its myriad manifestations. “The performance explores what it means to have a sense of self. The performance explains those experiences which fragments or undermines the self, perhaps due to circumstances or other selves. The performance is hypothetical, yet in it the audience will find instances they can relate to. It is an exploration of what makes us whole and what it means to integrate all the possible selves,” says Sujay in a telephonic conversation.

Sujay has done away with a linear narrative to create a hybrid form. “I did not want to communicate through words or stories, but through movement and contemporary dance. I have worked with the body to develop a form created through visual and movement segments.”

The works of Japanese author Haruki Murakami is one among the many inspirations. “We have drawn from our own experiences, personal stories and folktales, as well,” says Sujay. In the kind of theatre he believes to do, he is particularly not fond of narratives, stories, characters and plots. He believes that language theatre is dynamic. “It is argued that cinema and television has caused the death of theatre. But Robert Lepage says that the media have in fact set theatre free to be a rich source of dreams and imagination,” says Sujay.

Considering we live in very literal settings, has the power of words been compromised? Sujay doesn’t quite agree. “Pina Bausch once said that words, ultimately, evoke.”

Presented by the Company Theatre in association with Shapeshift Collective, Mumbai, Unselfed will be staged at Ranga Shankara at 7.30 p.m. today and at 3.30. and 7.30 p.m. tomorrow. Tickets are available at the venue.

The cast and crew include Chandana Sarma, Bhumika Arora, Scherazade Kaikobad, Avantika Bahl, and Anaka Kaundinya.

Keywords: UnselfedSujay Saple