Filling the Void of Being
Inspirit. What might it mean? Does it mean that you try to convey what lies dormant in your spirit? Does it mean that it is a performance in the spirit of a desire that binds all those on stage? Or does it imply a transformation of self into spirits of the Muse that inspires us so?
Inspirit 2, by Nivesaa Dance Company, was perhaps a definition from all these perspectives. It was a melange of choreographies, carefully painted into the stage canvas.
The first choreography explored the relation of self, with self. The stage faded in a surrealist Dali-like painting (in fact, the dancers appeared to be the molten timepieces of Dali’s ‘Persistence of Time’). The performers had their faces bandaged, perhaps implying a blindfolded existence. The sparsely lit stage was bestrewn with boxes. Did the boxes signify unopened unexplored areas of self? Were all the dancers parts of the same being, unaware of each other, and yet coming together, pushing and pulling, transforming her ideas and desires? As the dancers removed their blindfolds, they discovered parts of themselves they were unaware of, and there were moments of epiphanies.
The last choreography, a 40-minute advanced piece, was breathtakingly produced. The stage setup was very similar to the first piece, perhaps meant to tie the entire Inspirit in a thread, or bring it back to a perfect circle. The choreography was based on alternate realities. And it seemed as if the boxes this time represented the infinity of these parallel universes. The dance had many motifs spread through its length, most notably the ‘monocular hands’ and dancers trying to peer into what must be beyond their existence, and a particular repeated sequence, perhaps representing the intersection of different realities, where the performers cascaded into each others’ arms, while one was always left hugging her/himself.
As the performance reached its crescendo, a new motif emerged from the movements - how ephemeral are the threads that join us and how thin yet impermeably strong the walls that may separate us from a person. The ‘could have been’ possibilities ran strong throughout the choreography.
Inspirit 2 was also dotted with some Bollywood pieces and kids performance. Needless to point out, the dancers were stalwarts of their techniques. The stage lighting was brilliantly designed. I especially have to mention two instances - the alternate lighting up of the stage in the first choreography, the dancers on stage left engaged in a whirlwind of a duet and the other side a mammoth tableau with the boxes and the dancers, and the other - the lights during the alternate reality choreography - a rectangular strip of light, stage right and a spot on stage left, again a juxtaposition of a blinding duet against silent movement.
The music in both the pieces was . Eerily uncomfortable textures blending into beats, it was a tantalising sonic experience. I do not have last words, because it implies summing up an ocean into a noun, but I impatiently look forward to movement art that is so inspired.