30 March 2009

Equus Preview Show

The preview show of Ranan’s forthcoming dance and theatre staging of Peter Shaffer’s play, Equus, was staged at Gyan Manch on Friday, 27 March 2009. Among the invited audience were noted theatre personality Shri Shyamanand Jalan, well-known dancers Smt. Rani Karnaa and Smt. Chetna Jalan, Dr. Reimar Volker and Mr. S. V. Raman - Director and Programme Officer of the Goethe-Institut, Kolkata respectively, arts writer and editor, Ms. Anjum Katyal and translator and editor, Ms. Sudeshna Banerjee. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. The Equus team will now spend the next two weeks honing the production and working on specific feedback from the preview show in order to make the experience better still. 

We hope many of you reading this will be able to attend the premiere run of shows at Gyan Manch, Calcutta, 6.30pm – 10, 12, 17, 18, 19 April 2009. Tickets @ Rs. 60 will be available at the hall from Saturday, 4 April 2009, 1pm to 7pm. 

See you there!

Also – for photographs of the ‘out-takes’ of rehearsal, please visit http://picasaweb.google.com/benibasu/EquusTheMadTeam?feat=email

08 March 2009

Rangeeniyan at Taj Connemara

Ranan is back from Chennai after performing Rangeeniyan for a special show presented by Media Mix Innovative Promotions at the Taj Connemara, Chennai. Conceived and choreographed by Debashree Bhattacharya and Vikram Iyengar, the other dancers included Sohini Debnath, Jayati Chakraborty and Somdatta Banerjee. The light design and execution was by Amlan Chaudhuri.

Rangeeniyan interlaces the moods of Indian musical genres such as Ghazal, Geet and Thumri along with corresponding moods of the seasons. The predominant emotion in these musical forms is Love - Shringar - in its many varied shades and experiences ranging from the joy of togetherness to the pain of separation and the sweetness of reunion. The restless thirst of Summer, the eager hope of the Monsoon. Blossoming love in Sarat, melancholy parting in Hemant. Despondent bitterness in Winter, joyful reunion in Spring. Rangeeniyan evokes this fluid journey through the sensuous and romantic poetry of Indian musical genres and the lyrical beauty and imagery of Kathak.

05 March 2009

Equus-Ranan's new production

Ranan is delighted to announce our new production, a dance and theatre staging of Peter Shaffer's landmark play, Equus. The production will open at Gyan Manch in April 2009. We look forward to sharing this process of creation with you by regularly sharing updates about the development of this production.

Equus: the play
Equus is an intriguing exploration of normalcy and insanity, passion and pain, worship and religion. Written in the 1970s inspired by the report of a violent incident, the play delves into the mind of 17-year old Alan Strang, a boy with a strange fascination for horses, a boy who blinds six of these animals in an inexplicable fit.
Through a series of encounters with a psychiatrist, we come face to face with more questions than answers. What is normal, what is worship, what is passion, what is individuality? Can what is accepted as 'normal' behaviour in society smother a far more spirited and passionate way of being, of experiencing life, of offering oneself totally and unconditionally at the altar of a personal God? Which is being more truly alive - living safely and happily or developing a very personal pain and passion? Peter Shaffer's play throws up all these issues using the mythic figure of a horse as metaphor for worship, passion, pain and danger.

Echoes of Equus today: Ranan's interpretation
The faces of violence are getting younger and younger. School shootings, fatal arguments over petty and ridiculous issues, mob violence, street gangs, terrorists . Each symptomatic of the world we inhabit, a world where is okay to react with such extremity on the slightest of provocations, a paradoxical world where inclusion and enhanced technological connectivity go hand in hand with exclusion and human disconnect.
Alan Strang could be any of the perpetrators involved in the apparently random acts of youth violence - individual and collective, personal and communal - we encounter so regularly today. He exists in a vacuum with no regular friends, confused, alienated and rudderless except for his befuddled, intense and extreme ideas of religious devotion jumbled up with closeted adolescent sexual cravings. It is all too easy for him to recede into a fantasy world of his own creation where reality and illusion are intertwined impenetrably, where secret and guilty passions grow into obsessions, where the idea of freedom of choice and interpretation is in a volatile mixture with an absence of guidance and direction - dissolving all sense of perspective, all notions of ground reality, all clarity of informed response
Ranan's production finds echoes of Equus in the world we inhabit today, in the ever-tightening margins of a society that has begun to exist on the borderlines of fear surrounding itself with the tools of violence to feel safer.
"Extremity is the point", says Dr. Dysart of Alan's act of violence: how much more extreme can the world today be?