What started as an experiment in Khirki (Somehow Khoj had trust in us that we will be able to create interesting programmes with this community) today has resulted in 3 full-fledged programmes for us at Aagaaz (Unlearning Uncentered, किस्से Connection and Khirki Music Ensemble). Khirki music ensemble emerged from the need to create and engage the hidden musicians from Khirki, and give them a platform to express and collaborate with other like-minded individuals from within the community.
The first audition call was a disaster – we actually waited (somewhat like the two photographers from Jane Bhi do Yaaron – Naseeruddin Shah and Ravi Baswani who are waiting for people to turn up for the opening of their photo studio) till 4 pm but nobody showed up. We knew we had to do this and it would somehow work out, so we started finding ways to get people to join this ensemble. That’s when we bumped into Swati’s ‘Recharge ki dukaan’ where she was also running a makeshift recording studio. I started spending time and jamming with the musicians who come to record there and found some amazing rappers (Anubhav and Ravi) and a young Bollywood singer (Kumud). Zubin (from Khoj) connected me to these two Congolese musicians (Romeo – guitar/vocals and Zoom – Bass man / vocals) who blew me with their renditions of some really hip Congolese songs. I started jamming with this group and this began the journey of creating KME with this motley crew of young musicians from Khirki.
The ensemble right now is just 5 rehearsals old, but we do believe that we will be able to put together solid performances given the enthusiasm and will of each individual. We are hoping that more people will join this ensemble in some course time, but till then, we will keep doing what we do the best – create music that crosses borders/languages/cultures and brings people together in Khirki.
There is a deep sense of kinship to be working again with a group of participants who have already been led into a theatrical journey of sharing ideas and experiences, and it provides for a pleasant challenge. These workshops become a continuation of an educational exercise through theatre and play an important part in the evolution of thought itself. The group of kids from The Community Library Project at Deepalaya at Panchsheel Vihar are in gears for the second series of workshops with us and that has us moving.
Following the first performances that culled out of Duniya Sabki in a workshop format, the second series revolves around stories, storytelling and the storytellers. The stories that we are working on are the ones that have been read by this group of 12 avid readers over the last few months, stories that they carried beyond the books . Through a range of narrative and improv exercises, we are experimenting with the numerous ways in which these stories could possibly be told. Their choice of stories they want to tell is in itself a fascinating reflection of what appeals to these children as unique individuals.
As with most workshops, as much as planning ahead of time is essential, many thoughtful developments happen during or after the planned activities, and the dynamics of set exercises are prone to modification on a daily basis. After the initial step of sharing stories in our workshops, we are now gradually shifting our focus towards the act of narration of the stories, using various techniques involving images, machines, non-linear narratives and humanization of objects around us. In the recent workshops, most of the brainstorming sessions have been whirling towards an attempt of bringing to surface the impact of invisible characters in each child’s story. This exercise is an effective way of understanding the varied perspectives that can alter the narrative direction of the story being told. This has set in motion the process of not only thinking but also acting from various point of view. Interestingly, one of the children has chosen the guitar in her story to be the storyteller and another one is trying to make a box of paint talk, oh! it’s going to be fun.
The Clowns did some really fun exercises with us today. We tried to play around with balance, sounds and facial expression. And yes! We also had a mentor orientation session, where we bonded over clowning and games.
Sukhmani, Gaby, Noah and Sampo are clowns from around the world who have come to spend time with us. We are learning different games and techniques and paying attention to our ‘presence’. And yes! We’re trying our hands a juggling too.
Mehneer brought another element into our movements. We came to know that opposition is an important part of dance. We worked on our posture and learnt about first parallel and wide second parallel. We also picked up some Jazz inspired steps 🙂
Rajesh is translating our upcoming play and we had a great time with him today. We played some games, did some visualization and then eventually worked on improvisation. We’re looking forward to learning more.
Thanks Dhwani. You’ve helped us create some great scores. We managed to learn so much about partner work, compatibility, idea generation and getting over our shyness. Most of all, thank you for teaching us ‘stuck in the mud’. 🙂
Thanks to Dhwani, we managed to create some very interesting scores. We worked in pairs and played with contact, space, weight and flow. We focused on understanding each other’s cues, which allowed us to create some very beautiful expressions.