Aakash Odedra Company: Inked & Murmur 2.0

Denotations
Connotations

1st part: INKED

A clip about the performance here

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A dark space with a white curtain/paper in the centerstage right center, hanging from the top until the white stage floor. The white curtain has a human silhouette cut into it. A gentle sound of tapping feet starts. The tapping is rhythmical, using firstly simple rhythms pattern, but quickly gaining speed and complexity to the tapping rhythm pattern. Right after the rhythm has reached it’s highest point a man (wearing a white t-shirt and skin-coloured tights) appears at the outline in the curtain being exactly the same size with the outline and moves forward (and then centre stage) with his body still, only by tapping his feet. He bends, then lifts his body up again and draws with his fingers (which had been just dipped into a black paint) onto his chest, then face and hands.

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The dancer then lifts his both hands with his palms (on which he had drawn two triangles, one empty, other filled) facing the audience. The two hands are then put together and start doing wavy movements. The way the hands are moving is very smooth, though in a remarkable speed, therefore the arms seem to have lost their bones. He moves around the stage, goes down to the floor and then up again without unconnecting his palms.

The two hands start ‘living’ as they move very fast and lively. Moreover, it seems like the hands have started to live their own life and the body seems to be on their way and only slowing them down. The emotion is very harmonic and inspired/-ing, though visually strange and almost impossible. The hands together seem to lead the body, which tries to follow their movements.

The dancer ends the “hands movement” being up-stage with his feet and palms both next to each other on the floor. His upper body is very close to the floor, so his shoulders are almost touching the floor amongst the palms and feet. He pulls off his white shirt and reveals two eyes that are drawn onto his shoulder blades. He starts moving his shoulders one by one and moves slowly back to center stage.

The eyes on his back turn the dancer into a monster, who is slowly, but curiously looking and moving around the stage.

The dancer moves around, firstly slowly, but with every next movement has more power and strength than the previous. The movements go faster, delirious and frantic.

The dancer seems to have lost his control over the body, or there is something in him that is fighting against himself.

The dancer stands up with his hands going though the back and his palms on the edges of the pelvis. Therefore, his hands are around his body. The dancer starts moving his right and left side of the body separately by the lead of the hands.

The hands are controlling and holding his body. The body is helplessly tied with its hands.The hands are in control and start pulling and pushing the body due to their own wish.

Finally, as the the body spins to the middle, his hands “let go” of the body and he falls down onto the floor. Then he starts frantically drawing onto the white floor. Firstly with his fingers, sitting centre-stage and drawing circles onto the floor to both side of his body. Then he also draws with his toes. Therefore, he is doing circular, pulsed and rhythmical movements with the left hand and right leg and then vice versa. Throughout the movement, the body is down, very close to the floor. With the circular movements with his limbs he moves to stage left, then back to centerstage and then to stage right, then downstage and upstage.

Part 2: MURMUR 2.0

A clip about the performance here

A dark stage, with only a little light in centerstage. A circle of fans on the stage and 4 white, light and slightly transparent cloths hanging from the top onto the floor. The dancer (wearing a white undershirt, an unbuttoned casual shirt and a pair of grey sweats) stands in the (left side if the) circle. The dancers starts with rhythmical movements by tamping his feet to the floor and hands to his chest. The rhythm is firstly slow and easy, but becomes more and more complex and fast. The dancer starts to count numbers (until 10 and then back to 1) alongside of the movements. The movements gain speed, the voice goes louder until suddenly stops and the dancer asks: “How long does it take to correct a mistake? 10 seconds, 10 minutes, 10 hours, 10 days, 10 years?” Then he dances behind the 4 cloths, straightens them. The lights go down and a projection appears onto the white cloths. Then a single light from behind the dancer goes on and creates a shadow of the dancer onto the white curtain. The dancer walks further away from the curtain and the shadow grows bigger, then he walks back close to the curtain, and the shadow goes smaller again. Suddenly, a flock of birds is  projected onto the white curtain and the dancer starts looking at them, trying to follow the movements of the birds and occasionally jumping towards them.

The dancer tries to catch the birds (his dreams) but fails, as they are too high.

Then the birds disappear, the music changes into a robotic and strong. An outline of the dancer from a neon light appears onto the white curtain, in front of the dancer. The dancer starts to dance with his outline projected onto the curtain. They are doing the same movements, but are never 100% synchronised. The projection always has a small, but notable delay.

The projection could symbolise many things. To me it was firstly associated with virtuality and our ‘second self’ in the virtual world. As they were ‘doing the same thing’ but bot being exactly the same, it reminded me of, how the ‘virtual self’ we are could never be the same as we are. Moreover, as the audience could see the dancer trying to follow the virtual outline, not vice versa, the scene became very emotional – it felt like the dancer was representing to try to be someone else, or follow the ‘outline’ he wanted to create for himself, but couldn’t match with it.

All the fans go on and the white cloths start moving around and the projection disappears. The dancer spins around the moving cloths.

The dancer seem to be as light as the cloths and moves in the wind such as the curtains. Therefore, the dancer shows his sensitiveness and weakness as he was strongly influenced by the flow.

Then the dancer moves centerstage and pulls the curtains down.

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Representing “taking control” or trying to stand in the storm and not to be pushed around by another force.

Suddenly, the stage looks very empty in comparison of the moment before, as there were cloths moving in the wind and the dancer spinning alongside them. The dancer stands centerstage and a single sheet of paper falls down from above. It swings and swirls in the air until reaches the floor. The dancer looks surprisedly at the paper, looks up where the paper came from, and then back at the paper. Then picks it up from the floor, folds it two times and puts it into his pocket.

and seems to be relatively happy.

Suddenly another sheet of paper falls down from above, the dancer follows it with his eyes. And then another, and another. The dancer tries to catch them before they fall onto the floor, but as the papers swirl around, it is relatively hard. As more and more papers still keep falling from above, he gets confused, moves frantically back and forth, trying to catch them and trying to have control over the situation, but fails. Then he goes back stage, comes back with a big carton box and starts to catch the falling papers with into the box. As the box is too big to handle, he puts it down and starts picking the papers from the floor and putting them into the box. This again, goes out of control, as the papers still keep swirling and moving around the space. The dancer again goes into the back stage, comes back with a big broom and starts sweeping the papers. The fans start working again, and as he sweeps the papers to one side, the fans blow the papers back into the air, where it is even harder to catch them, as they swirl around. He gets stressed by the situation, tries frantically to collect the papers and stop them from moving around in the space but fails. All the fans start working, blowing the papers back into the air. There is also a colourful projection on the papers, so the stage is full of colours, flying papers and movement. After a while of dancing with the papers the dancer suddenly stops, puts his hand into his pocket, where he had placed the first piece of paper, but doesn’t find it there. Then he starts looking around the space, looking for his paper. He looks onto the floor, digs in the piles of papers, teems the box where he had managed to collect some papers, but fails to find his paper. The dancer starts screaming for help: “Could someone please help me find my A”; “Where’s my A?”; “Could anyone help please?”. After failing to find his paper, he walks downstage and asks: “How long does it take to correct a mistake? 10 seconds, 10 minutes, 10 days, 10 years?”

Throughout the performance there are two symbolic pictures used:

ferm_living_kids_bird_cage_mobile_large and green_figbird

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