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    17 poems, 10 artistes, theatre and contemporary dancea��ita��s a cocktail that promises to be heady

    We love words, but verse often scare us. So a theatrical performance of poetry can be a little daunting. But director Sunil Shanbag, of Mumbai-based Tamaasha Theatre, says Blank Pagea��their interpretation of contemporary poetry through theatre, music and movementa��is their most popular act to tour with, and that audiences respond with a�?a great amount of feelinga�?. With the 55-minute performance coming down to Adishakti in Pondicherry this Monday, he encourages us to put it to the test.
    a�?Ia��ve always been interested in poetrya��reading books and listening to my poet friends. Ia��ve also been using poetry in training workshops as it is very interesting to see actors try to engage with verse and find meaning,a�? says the 59-year-old, adding that these workshops gave him the idea to create the performance. a�?To begin with, my colleague, Sapan Saran, and I spent three months going back to all the poems wea��ve enjoyed and then reading some more. Soon themes started suggesting themselves and it evolved organically,a�? he says.
    Dealing with four broad themesa��on the act of writing, women defining themselves through verse, conflicted relationships and resistance poetrya��17 poems, in English, Marathi, Hindi and Kashmiri, will be performed in all. a�?We use certain devices, like having a translation echo the main piece, to ensure the audience understands,a�? says Shanbag, explaining that a musician, playing the keyboard and a variety of percussion, will accompany the nine actors. a�?We wanted to perform this in alternative spaces and keep it quite everyday, so there are no costumes or sets,a�? he adds. With over 30 performances under their belt, their next stop is Bengaluru, with plans to come to Chennai some time in the future.
    August 15, at 7 pm. Details: 0413 2622287

    a��Surya Praphulla Kumar

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