Raising hair stories

A Brief History of Your Hair, directed by Deepika Arwind, is an experimental performance that combines text, movement, stories and music

Updated - October 18, 2016 12:40 pm IST

Published - March 22, 2016 03:11 pm IST - Bangalore

Deepika Arwind

Deepika Arwind

Have you ever wondered how hair is central to our existence? Don’t we all know what a bad hair day feels like? And how it is our crowning glory or nightmare—depending on whether you have a love-hate relationship with your mane—which defines what we look like and who we are. Director, actor and playwright Deepika Arwind’s latest production, A Brief History of Your Hair delves into each of these aspects through a performance rooted in deeply personal stories. “It’s in vignettes,” explains Deepika, following an intense rehearsal at the LshVa Studio, Koramangala. “It’s about how you look at gender, ritual and stories, and how we understand sexuality through hair. It’s about the presence, absence and glory of it.”

The play has been made possible by a grant from the India Foundation for the Arts and The New Voices Arts Project. Deepika sent it to an external evaluator, Neelam Mansingh, a renowned theatre personality.

“The play is a happy culmination of movement, text, music and stories,” she adds. There is a rhythm to how the performances play out and move from one story to another. The poet in Deepika finds expression in the play. “It also has visual text, like reading text off a screen before a movie begins.”

It’s a devised, experimental performance as well. “Yes, it is an experiment in terms of narrative, structurally and content-wise. Each of the cast members brings so much to the play. I have a vision, but they bring a lot of thought and ability.”

The cast members include actor, director, playwright and lighting designer, Swetanshu Bora, Sunitha M.R., an actor who has trained in Bharatanatya and Carnatic classical music, architect and dancer Harshika Amin and Diya Naidu, dancer, facilitator and choreographer.

A Brief History of Your Hair, presented by the Lost Post Initiative, will be staged at Ranga Shankara on March 24 and March 25 at 7.30 p.m. Tickets are available on bookmyshow and the venue.

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