Shades of `touch'

The demonstration was meant to be a curtain raiser for the workshop. It demonstrated how comprehensively one could control one's body and express oneself using the body.

Organised jointly by the Creative Unit for Third Experience (CUTE) and the Chavara Cultural Centre on the latter's premises and led by Surjith, the workshop is intended to create an awareness about the use of body in theatre.

Instead of going for a customary formal inauguration with a lot of speakers, this workshop was inaugurated on Tuesday by an aggressive display of body theatre.

Titled `Touch', the demonstration was complicated as it went beyond the little that was spoken. At times, the audience was at a loss to know what was being enacted. This was clear from the questions raised during the interactive session that followed the demonstration.

Shades of `touch'

But, Surjith and his companions, Gopalan and Saji, were not interested in attributing any meaning to their movements. They appeared content with the gift of manipulating their postures and gestures. In this process, they created some interesting moments of body language, which was enough in capturing the attention of the audience. Not once was their attention drawn away from the floor.

And they realised the secret behind the magic, when Surjit said later that all he wanted to do was to concentrate on a vacant spot on the floor and remain focussed.

Not every day would one find a theatre workshop that concentrates on the use of the floor. Most of the training that one finds in theatre these days is on acting. Interestingly, one of the theatre groups had been conducting regular workshops during vacations. The subjects, as announced in their advertisement for the workshop, was acting, mimicry and monoact, "which would help the participants find a place in film and television serials''.

For some time theatre has been used as a mere stepping-stone for television actors. The timing makes this workshop by the CUTE and Chavara relevant. Even though its schedule might not suit all, many students are seriously interested in theatre.

The week-long workshop will be held at the Chavara Cultural Centre from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday.

Despite all the shortcomings, this workshop could be a reminder about what our theatre is lacking. Yes, our theatre lacks trained actors.

The audience could gauge the difference that systematic training could gift to an actor, who is supposed to "behave'' on the floor. Even those who might have confused after the demonstration were dazzled by the solo show by Gopalan. For once, actors ruled the day.

By Anand Haridas

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