Jyoti Dogra believes that “an actor is an emotional, physical and vocal instrument”.
A proponent of the Grotowski method, this actress explores what the theatre can do without: lights, scenery, text...
She upholds Grotowski’s principle that theatre, through the actor’s technique, should “strive for higher motives and provide an opportunity for what could be called integration, discarding of masks, revealing of the real substance: a totality of physical and mental reactions.”
Her solo theatre show, ‘The Doorway’ will be staged at the Jawahar Balbhavan here on Saturday under the auspices of the Nataka Souhridam.
Her play is a collection of real and imagined stories woven together in a physical narrative, exploring the connections and contradictions arising from the physical inhabiting of closed and open spaces.
“The stories are open to different interpretations. For instance, when I staged the play in Bhopal, the audience felt I was dealing with women’s issues though there was no concrete reference to them.
“I use gestures, body images, movements, fragments of text, song, and sound collage to move through different segments of the play,” she told The Hindu.
A few stories have a clear beginning and ending, others do not.
“The form aims to evoke associations in the mind of the spectator. In a lot of these images, the spectator himself becomes the one being watched,” she explains.
She has worked extensively in several experimental stage productions and multi-media productions.
She worked with major directors such as B.V. Karanth, Barry John, Khalid Tyabji, Prassanna, Maya Rao, Wolf Gang Kolneder (Gripps Theatre, Berlin), Sou Weston, Sita Ramamurthy (Theatre Centre, London ), N. K. Sharma, Rehaan Engineer and Kanhai Lal.
She has learnt Kathakali and Seraikella Chhau and taught theatre at the Theatre In Education Company at the National School of Drama.
Based in Mumbai, Ms. Dogia has acted in many films. She has appeared in Nagesh Kukkunoor’s ‘Hyderabad Blues’, Rahul Dholakia’s ‘Lamhe’, Ram Gopal Verma’s ‘Satya’, Sushant Mishra’s ‘Dharini’, ‘Anil Ahluwalia’s ‘Kya Tum Ho’, Kunjan Mendke’s ‘One Night Stand’ and Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Gulal’.
She has also acted in a few foreign films.
‘A Sea-Side Story’, co-written by her, won three national awards in 2005 and the Golden Couch for Best Fiction Film at the International Short Film Festival 2004.
She will present ‘The Doorway’ in Kochi on November 1.