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    Blank Page brings poetry to theatre

    Sandbox Collective, a Bengaluru- based artistes collective, works with the aim of bringing together various performance arts on one platform. Their latest local production, Blank Page is a concoction of theatre, poetry and music. It debuted at The Kala Ghoda festival in Mumbai earlier this year. The production celebrates the history and tradition of poetry in India. “Blank Page is an exploration of contemporary Indian poetry in four languages, using theatre, music, and movement,” says Sunil Shanbag who conceived the production and is also part of the cast. “It explores four themes; the act of writing poetry, identity, conflicted relationships, and resistance,” he adds.
    The production will have 17 performances. The poems have been selected from some of India’s finest and historic poets. “The individual poems come together as a composite experience, with each poem adding layers to a fairly complex and stimulating experience,” explains Shanbag. The poems are in Hindi, English, Marathi, and Kashmiri, and the performances interpret them in various ways. The poets whose poems will be included range from Nissim Ezekiel and Taslima Nasrin to Sapan Saran, Kedarnath Singh, Arundhathi Subramaniam and many more. They are performed by a group actors, a dancer, and a musician in a seamless theatre piece. The production delves deep into relationships, identity and even the self referential aspect of poetry.
    Bringing together music and poetry is not as hard as one would imagine. According to Shanbag, there are fundamental similarities between the two fields and it lends itself well to a theatre performance piece. They both have movement and flow, and are very universal in nature. Theatre is the common element that frames them. Even though it was challenging initially, once the performers were in the zone and working together it was a process of discovery, reveals the director.
    The play has already been performed at many prestigious events like The Tata LitLive, Mumbai, The Akshara Calligraphy Exhibition at the Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai, and the Vinod Doshi Theatre Festival, Pune.
    Tomorrow, 7 pm At NUMA, Church Street. Sunday, 4:30 pm
    and 7 pm at Atta Galatta, Koramangala. Tickets (` 200) on bookmyshow.com

    — Anagha M

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