Time Frames, a performance by children, was spectacular for its costumes, music, and movements

Dance requires skill, stamina, presence of mind, and team work. No easy feat to achieve. Yet, the children who performed in Time Frames made it seem as easy as apple pie. They cart-wheeled, made human pyramids, tap danced, danced with sticks, twirled, did the cha-cha. You name it, they did it, with amazing dexterity.

If you are impressed with that, there’s more. Through their performances, they took the audience on a journey through places and time periods, from Cairo to Nairobi, Dakar to Dublin, Christ Church to Tokyo, Pago Pago to Havana and Shanghai to Mumbai.

Performed as a part of the Attakkalari Biennial 2013, Time Frames, conceived by choreographer and filmmaker Margie Medlin, was an arts-in-education initiative. Nearly 100 children from Gear Foundation, Delhi Public School (Kanakapura), Parikrama Humanity Foundation (Koramangala), Bangalore School of Speech and Drama, and Attakkalari’s Community Class were selected to perform. Each group, through traditional and contemporary dance, depicted the history and culture of different countries. The Guru Nanak Bhavan auditorium came alive with colour, music and a tremendous energy.

The children effortlessly transited from one traditional dance form to another. And although in some places the transition was jerky, in most, it was smooth. The transitions were depicted in other creative ways. Through costumes, for instance, which were spectacular, and through shared experiences, such as in the case of Christ Church to Tokyo, where some of the world’s devastating earthquakes occurred. Central to the performance was the video screening that complemented the performances. The students had made videos of art works of various countries and recorded their opinions on what time travel means to them. This not only helped further the narrative, but also gave a glimpse into the incredible minds and worlds of the children. Some children said they would like to revisit ancient times while others said they would like to travel to the future to protect forests.

The students of Parikrma Foundation were particularly graceful and Attakkalari’s Community Class enthralled with their flexible movements. The students of Bangalore School of Speech and Drama weaved in a play into their performance. The performance by Gear Foundation weaved in a narrative while the students of Delhi Public School included varied dance forms in their performance.