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    Performance poetry takes centrestage this weekend

    The Airplane Poetry Movement is hosting the National Youth Poetry Slam this weekend. At the two-day festival, teams from across the country compete to showcase their slam poetry skills. It will also feature performances by the host, American poet Sarah Kay and the judge, actress Kalki Koechlin.
    Slam is a form of performance poetry which is specifically written for the stage. “The performance bit is as important as the written word, when it comes to slam,” explains Shantanu Anand, co-founder of the Airplane Poetry Movement. It is a performance piece just like theatre or dance. Anand feels the performers are at their most vulnerable when it comes to slam. “For musicians, you have instruments, for theatre, there are costumes. But this is just raw,” he adds. Performance Poetry, as a concept was born in the 1980s in the US and has now achieved cult status all over the world.
    The Airplane Poetry Movement was started with the aim of bringing the country’s performance poets together. They aim to discover and reward poets, both online and offline. The event is co-organised by Campus Diaries, a magazine and platform that promotes students’ talents.
    Koechlin, who is a talented poet herself, is popular in the slam community for her piece, The Printing Machine. “I’m really looking forward to seeing these incredible performers come together,” says the Bollywood star.
    Kay on the other hand, hails from Brown University and is the founder of Project V.O.I.C.E., a group dedicated to using the spoken word as an educational and inspirational tool.
    Those looking for a spot of humour will be delighted to know that there will also be a performance by comedian, Biswa Kalyan Rath of the Pretentious Movie Reviews fame.
    Entry `1,500. September 17-18. At Lotus Convention Center, Ramamurthy Nagar. Details:
    airplanepoetrymovement.com

    — Anagha M

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