From her very first workshop in school, Aruna Ganesh Ram remembers being drawn to theatre — like a moth to a flame. After dabbling in several creative pursuits, it didn’t take her long to figure that her heart was set on the stage.
The 30-year-old artistic director has since had Bengaluru under the spell of her Visual Respiration, a platform that creates immersive theatre experiences.
She’s had audiences play games and eat food as part of these unique pieces. And her latest, will allow them to spend time with themselves in a bid to self-discovery on July 30 and 31 at Lahe Lahe.
“We are now in an age of watching, dominated by the visual sense. From looking at a screen to tell time to playing an immersive Pokemon Go, we are constantly watching, imbibing and responding. Can the theatre also enable action for the audience?” asks Aruna.
After a master’s degree in advanced theatre practice from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, she wasted no time in exploring an idea that could get audiences off their chairs, going on to direct masterpieces like A Moment of Memory, Re:play and a stage adaptation of Swami and Friends by RK Narayan to name a few.
Her latest piece, an ‘experimance’ called Knock Knock which she is excited to take on tour, deals with self-discovery. For this two-hour performance, Aruna and her team started with a blank canvas and used different triggers.
“We looked at expressionist art, poetry, photography, played with toys and random objects, listened to music and moved in the space to create patterns with the body. We found things from our lives that we wouldn’t otherwise recall – like childhood pranks to challenging and painful moments, which has fleshed out the characters,” she says.
Aruna believes that the audience will spend time with themselves — a precious gift that they will give themselves, given how comfortable we are with real world distractions.
“There are stories in the performance , moments, images, sounds and movement, each of which the audiences will connect to, evolving a different narrative for each of them,” adds the city girl.
Aruna confesses that the week after the performance will be a reflective one with lots of coffee, spa appointments, binging on TV and Corner House ice cream.
“2016 has really been a year of new beginnings. I had a baby and now I am being directed — the role reversals have begun. There are so many toys in the house and I’m figuring out how these can be props in my next show!” says the excited new mommy, even as she conceptualises her next piece — a touch and feel piece on gender.
Catch the performance at Lahe Lahe on July 30 and 31, 7 pm....