25 July 2014

MY WORD: the word and performance - a workshop with Anjum Katyal

[Scroll down for reference videos and participant responses]

An exploration of the word – as poetry, as lyric, as prose monologue and in other forms – uttered, enacted and performed. With a focus on the emotional connect, the personal relationship between the word and each of us.

Dates: Friday, 1 August and Sunday, 3 August

Time: Friday, 6pm to 8pm / Sunday, 2.30pm to 6.30pm
Venue: the Ranan Workspace (8 Sultan Alam Road, Calcutta - 33)

Fees: Rs. 600/-

To register, please email us at rananindia@gmail.com

Anjum Katyal has been Editor, Seagull Theatre Quarterly and Chief Editor, Seagull Books, Calcutta, and Web Editor, Saregama-HMV. She has translated Habib Tanvir’s Charandas Chor and Hirma ki Amar Kahani as well as Usha Ganguli’s Rudali and stories by Mahasweta Devi and Meera Mukherjee. She is the author of Habib Tanvir: Towards an Inclusive Theatre and a forthcoming book on Badal Sircar. She is Co-Director, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF), and Consultant, Publications, MAKAIAS. She is a published poet. She also sings the blues and writes on the arts. 

On the first day of the workshop, we watched videos of a couple of spoken word performances by Katy Makkai and Sierra DeMulder. Anjum also circulated a series of other videos for the participants to watch. Here they are...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xyKKoL1NSM  Sierra DeMulder (National Poetry Slam)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW2uwvVq4so  Alicia Keys (Prisoner of Words Unsaid)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYZHb2xo0OI  David Tennant (Hamlet’s soliloquy)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcI_xtsiUps  David Meadows (Macbeth soliloquy)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dgbbtUbgcM  Judi Dench (Lady Macbeth – Out damn spot)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqvAoTHPyxs  Teejan Bai (Kaurav Pandav Yudh ki Taiyyari)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FOlV1EYxmg  Bob Dylan (Song of the Hurricane)

Anjum asked each participant to bring in a text – prose, poetry, diary entry, letter, anything – which is approximately 5 minutes in length when read aloud. If shorter, bring two. Choose something which means a lot to you, which is personal, which has a link/history/story with regard to you.

A sampling of what was brought in...


The world comprises various diversities. Each race has its own language to connect to the rest of the world. But Art is the only language which is perceived by the whole world as one.
Onto that I hold, Dance is the one through whom I can connect myself to the world.A little girl who was gifted by the Almighty so well that she couldn’t even stand on her own feet, but dreamt of making a stand among those who touch the sky. Well, that’s me.It was the word ‘Kathak’ that brought me from being a no one to being a someone.
It was a time when I was too little to even know the meaning of Kathak. But it was the only petrol which could boost my passion. And above all it was the heavenly blessing that all children are entitled to – my mom, who carried me all the way from that dream to reality. 

I am a daughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin,

a friend, a partner, a young girl and a grown woman.....
I am confident and scared....
sometimes terrified but excited....
I am loving and caring....
thoughtful yet hopeful....
I am sick and tired....
I am shy but friendly....
careful and careless....
sometimes misunderstood & broken ....
misguided and mislead... 
I am hardworking and determined....
but a little scared on inside....
I wish on stars and dream my dreams....
I pray to god and cry my tears....
I smile on the outside while I’m dying  inside....
I listen to others who don’t speak to me…
I’m talking to those who won’t listen to me....
so… all I can say…


We travelers on the endless wastes
in single orbits gliding

Cold-eyed march towards the dawn,
behind hard weather hoods a-hiding

Meeting as the tall ships do,
passing in the channel

Afraid to chance a gentle touch,
afraid to make the clasp
In high-rise city,
canyons dwells the discontent of ages

On ring roads, nose to bumper crawl
commuters in their cages

Cryptic signals flash across
from pilots in the fast lane

Double-locked and belted in,
too late to make the clasp
Let's break the journey now
on some lonely road

Sit down as strangers will,
let the stress unload

Talk in confidential terms,
share a dark unspoken fear

Refill the cup and drink it up,
say goodnight and wish good luck
Synthetic chiefs with frozen smiles,
holding unsteady courses

Grip the reins of history,
high on their battle horses

And meeting as good statesmen do
before the TV eyes of millions

Hand to hand exchange the lie,
pretend to make the clasp



The Times They Are A-Changin'

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

Bob Dylan


Growing up with Trees, by Ruskin Bond

A response to the workshop from Rhea Dawn - Ranan Repertory member

Delay of Gratification”. 
My Gratification might have been delayed but to overcome this long awaited pain, a lovely experience has been gifted by RANAN.I have been thinking for a while why text based workshop is not included in RANAN. We could do so much with texts.  RANAN has performers who have years of acting knowledge and they use it in best of their potential. I don’t have such good acting knowledge or background in my resume’.   I was creating a wall in front of my hope. But as I was trying to get rid of all the hindrances, surprisingly at this juncture where I was pushing this wall, my long awaited workshop has been announced. This workshop was more like a medicine on my wounds. I am a performer. A performer’s realization about pain is different and sometimes this realization changes everything. This pain changes you from inside, sometimes the kind of person you are. This tide inside you is a different kind of realization, not easy to describe in words, sometimes helps you to embrace a new skin of a character. I desperately needed this experience.
With such an attainment of unfathomable knowledge and experience from this workshop and also from others who all have participated was awesome and mesmerizing. This experience is going to be a guiding star for me in my journey.
Here, I have learnt to utilize my facial muscles and to project it with my emotions. Other than my facial expressions nothing more was needed, no other body parts were needed to involve, except my eyes, my lips and my eyebrows and with this we have been taught to project our emotions.
 I sometimes get astonished do I have these things in me? Was it possible for me? Yes it was! My experience and my realization was an obvious proof for that. This is what I have learned. This is what I have always craved for.
It was a wonderful experience!  

No comments:

Post a Comment