Checkerboard of life

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tightrope existence (Clockwise from top:) Bubbles Sabharwal in “Women in Black” with Damayanti and Laura Santana behind her; and paintings on display — ‘Puzzled’ by Partha Bhattacharjee and ‘Untitled’ by Anoop Kamath.
tightrope existence (Clockwise from top:) Bubbles Sabharwal in “Women in Black” with Damayanti and Laura Santana behind her; and paintings on display — ‘Puzzled’ by Partha Bhattacharjee and ‘Untitled’ by Anoop Kamath.


Aadhvi announced its presence in the world of culture with a cross-disciplinary presentation in the Capital.

It seems to be everybody’s firm belief that to be noticed these days it is necessary to do something new. Trouble is, there are not too many terribly new things left to do. Didn’t someone a long time ago say there is nothing new under the sun? But that doesn’t mean one should stop trying, and it also doesn’t mean that everyone who tries something new is just doing it for the attention. However that may be, Aadhvi launched itself with a show called “Art and Paradox” that stressed on its fusion of painting, music and drama.

Since theatre is by definition a composite art containing these and other elements, it was perhaps not necessary to labour the point. However, the event attracted a lot of interest and featured the popular play “Women in Black” written by Bubbles Sabharwal and directed by Arvind Gaur. In the lobby of Kamani auditorium were displayed paintings by a number of well known artists like Partha Bhattacharjee, Anoop Kamath, Shubhra Das, Kishore Roy, Nilanjan Das and others. These were brought over by Nitanjali art gallery. Said Ridhi Bhalla of Nitanjali, “The idea was to put together art works in harmony with the play, to bring together the essence of a woman.”

For Ruchika of Aadhvi, it was her company’s brand launch into the field of events. Not exactly event management, she clarified, saying it was entirely her show and not merely managed or publicised by her. “Every painting is reflecting the moods of the woman,” she noted.

On stage

The audience eventually moved inside, where Bubbles held sway in the double role of the mother and the daughter whose relationship and strangely similar lives the play explores. The production features two “alter egos” for each. For the daughter these were Laura Santana, jazz singer, and Damayanti the painter. The alter egos for the mother were provided by ghazal singer Kumud Diwan and painter Preeti. While it was interesting to see an artist on stage create a sketch while the action was on, one could not say this added materially to the theatrical effect, though the live singing did. This was because the music was amplified, but the live art creations could not be enlarged artificially.

With Aadhvi Ruchika said she was planning to get into “very niche events”, including quality theatre and fairs, all with a view to raising funds for the cause of the soldiers.

“The cause of the Indian soldier is very dear to me,” said Ruchika, whose husband is in the forces. She said Nitanjali had offered to donate a part of the sales proceeds to the children of martyrs. The prospects looked bright on this count, as a number of paintings were marked as sold already. So, though Kamani’s crowded lobby did not have enough room or quiet to view the paintings in peace, as some would have liked, if it went towards a worthy cause, it all became worth it.



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