Natarani Opens New Gallery With A Provocative Performance

Gujarat News, Gujarati News, Latest Gujarati News, Gujarat Breaking News, Gujarat Samachar.

Latest Gujarati News, Breaking News in Gujarati, Gujarat Samachar, ગુજરાતી સમાચાર, Gujarati News Live, Gujarati News Channel, Gujarati News Today, National Gujarati News, International Gujarati News, Sports Gujarati News, Exclusive Gujarati News, Coronavirus Gujarati News, Entertainment Gujarati News, Business Gujarati News, Technology Gujarati News, Automobile Gujarati News, Elections 2022 Gujarati News, Viral Social News in Gujarati, Indian Politics News in Gujarati, Gujarati News Headlines, World News In Gujarati, Cricket News In Gujarati

Natarani Opens New Gallery With A Provocative Performance

| Updated: June 24, 2024 13:15

'Firefly Women' is a dance spectacle on the theme of the persecution of political dissenters by the government  

The Darpana Academy of Performing Arts inaugurated a new performance venue, Gallery at Natarani, on Saturday, with Firefly Women, a dance spectacle on the theme of the persecution of political dissenters by the government.  

Speaking on the occasion, Director Mallika Sarabhai said the new air-conditioned venue would allow Natarani to extend its season beyond the winter months. “The Gallery can now host performances comfortably in the heat of Ahmedabad’s extended summers,” she said. “We hope to see all of you here more often.”

Located next to the Natarani amphitheatre, the new Gallery is an indoor venue, suited for smaller, more intimate performances. It was certainly well-suited for Firefly Women, which has segments that call for the active participation of the audience.  

Presented by Improper Fractions, a Delhi-based theatre group, the play is based on letters written from jail by Devangana Kalita, Natasha Karwal and Gulfisha Fatima, who were imprisoned by the government for protesting the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) in 2016. 

Feminist cause

Starting with a soulful rendition of Lata Mangeshkar’s Lag Ja Gale from the film 1964 film Wo Kaun Thi, as the three young women are first moved to Delhi’s Tihar Jail,  performers Manjari Kaul and Deepika Chauhan deliver excerpts from the letters in the form of dialogues. They speak of hope, resilience, and the feminist cause, even as they muse on the tedium of life in prison.   

The letters themselves are not provocative. After all, they were written from prison and probably subject to censorship by the authorities. The context is provided by a series of slides flashed on the screen behind the performers: over the past decade, political dissenters have been silenced by the government under the National Security Act for “anti-national” activities.

Those jailed include lawyers, academicians, environment activists and journalists. A disproportionate number are Muslims and Dalits. This is made amply clear when the names of the 16 people arrested for the CAA protests are read out at the end of the performance.  

Interactive segments    

Firefly Women evokes the stark grimness of the prison cell with its lighting, comprising several hanging light bulbs (like fireflies) around which the two performers dance as they deliver their dialogues, which are in English and Hindi. “What makes you hopeful?” the audience is asked in one segment of the performance. In another segment, audience members are invited to imagine they are free of gender roles and depict it through dance movements.  

Directed by Manjari Kaul, who wrote the play during the lockdown, Firefly Women has so far seen 26 performances across the country since it opened in November. It was performed in two venues in Ahmedabad over the weekend, at Natrani on Saturday and at the Conflictorium, Mirzapur, on Sunday.

On Saturday, Mallika Sarabhai took the opportunity to announce the launch of Darpana’s Project Sulay, an initiative to promote conflict resolution in a non-violent way, through the arts. The event also marked the opening of Natarani’s new air-conditioned café, Table by the Tree.   

Also Read: Vadodara Girl To Cycle To London For Climate Change

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *