Compagnie Nicole Seiler’s “K Two”

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Naveena pointed me to K Two, by Nicole Seiler’s dance company. It’s described as an improvised performance in which two dancers explore the limits of video game character movements as executed by human bodies. Yes, it was the video game characters bit that got my attention. So, I went.

Organized by Prakriti Foundation, the whole thing lasted about 20 minutes, but I had to sit through about an hour long awards ceremony (yeah, total yawn) before the K Two performance. The awards ceremony was for contemporary dance and I think I missed the best part which were the dance performances that happened over the prior two days.

K Two itself was a bit of a let down – no audio to accompany the performance. But the most egregious part was the terrible, terrible organization of the event itself. As you can see from the pics, it happened in the dark with hand held, low power torches as the primary sources of light, so a lot of the times, not much was visible. (Note that the pics have been super brightened in post.) It was a (physically) moving performance and they used a pre-determined pathway within Kalakshetra. Unfortunately the pathway was poorly lit, unmarked and so, the crowd which moved along with the performers often almost got in their way and definitely blocked the handful of photographers and the lone videographer. Since the movement pathway wasn’t clearly marked, we never knew where they were going. I almost got knocked down once when one of them started simulating how awkwardly video game characters ran. The crowd, mostly unfamiliar with video games, was rather unappreciative, giggling and snickering – bloody plebs. Overall what might have been a somewhat entertaining experience turned out to be something of a waste of a Sunday evening, in no part whatsoever due to the actual performance itself.

Stone Gallery At Madras Museum

Namma Mylapore’s Geetha Iyengar organized a tour of the stone gallery at Madras Museum in Egmore, as part of the Madras Day 2014 celebrations. Chithra Madhavan was our tour guide and boy was she knowledgeable! She made the entire session a total pleasure. She had answers to most questions and unlike folks I’ve encountered in the past, she had no issues with not knowing (esoteric?) bits of information and didn’t make up stuff AFAIK. As Chithra described it, the tour was just a taste of the vast number of exhibits in the stone gallery of the Madras Museum. So, this blog post would be a teaser trailer of the tasty morsels served up. In the various sections we visited, I only took a couple of pictures. So, these serve as a teaser to folks reading this post which should encourage them to visit the museum at leisure, multiple times to take in everything. I’d recommend going with a guide like Chithra. You can contact Namma Myalpore via email and they ought to be able to get you setup. So here goes.

Sanchi Stupa Miniature

Sanchi Stupa Model
Sanchi Stupa Model

This miniature is a replica of the Great Stupa at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh. Sanchi’s about 50 km from Bhopal. A stupa is a place where relics of the Buddha or his disciples are stored and worshiped. The Great Stupa at Sanchi was commissioned by Ashoka The Great in the 3rd century BC. As usual, more details about the actual Sanchi Stupa at Wikipedia. Continue reading Stone Gallery At Madras Museum

Madras Day 2014: Chennai Turns 375

I just learned about Madras Day. I’ve been in the city a little more than 2 years and this is the first I’ve heard of it. It certainly feels like I live the life of a hermit in the midst of a sea of people. Oh well, live and learn.

The celebrations have been going on for over a week and there have been a number of events that I’ve already missed. But the weekend starts tomorrow and I’m going to try and take in some local culture. Before I get accused of sounding like some outsider yobbo, Continue reading Madras Day 2014: Chennai Turns 375