Kolkata witnesses contemporary performances from across the globe

Engaging through entertainment in the City of Joy


News - India & You

March 9, 2017

/ By / Kolkata

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At a workshop, De Stitle engage in creative expression

At a workshop, De Stilte engage in creative expression

With international acts bringing in unique shows, theatre and performance arts in Kolkata are turning exciting and educating.

Kolkata, the City of Joy, and the capital of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, has been often called the cultural capital of India. Even as the city has its own set of problems when it comes to the organisation of large-scale events, theatre and performance still finds a space. With an innovative performance, titled ‘Flying Cow’, theatre lovers across age spectrum were treated to Dutch group, De Stilte’s mesmerising act last week, among the many ongoing events that aim to enhance the experience into an educative one.

A still from Flying Cow

A still from Flying Cow

Organised by ThinkArts, a group that brings in contemporary productions from India and abroad to encourage creative imagination among young adults and children, ‘Flying Cow’ was a production that appealed to audiences irrespective of age. Ruchira Das, founder of ThinkArts states, “ThinkArts was born with an idea of bringing imaginative experiences for children and young adults through an engagement with the arts. Then, we moved into inviting contemporary productions from India and abroad. At the moment, we are working on two international projects, which would result in training emerging artists in India and development of new pieces for babies and toddlers.”

ThinkArts, which has organised events in the past that saw performers from Mexico and Switzerland, collaborated with De Stitle, from the Netherlands, for ‘Flying Cow’. A company that “sees dreams as the motor of reality, play as the birthplace of art, and introduces children to the world of the senses,” De Stitle also showcased special morning shows to reach out to over 1,300 children from schools across Kolkata and children from NGOs like Future Hope, New Light, Dakshinaprayas, Lotus Rescue and others. With enthusiastic response from the audience, ‘Flying Cow’ was a success.

Much to see and learn

In the recent past, a clown dance theatre act, Triciclo Rojo, all the way from Mexico, performed in the city in collaboration with ThinkArts. As an evolving form, theatre is seeing engaging performances that address not only the regular theatre lovers, but also those in a very crucial stage of their lives – children and young adults. With theatre becoming a stage to impart skills and creative thinking, Gupta expressed, “There is no better way than the arts to make this happen – the arts must be an integral part of children’s lives for them to grow into sensitive, aware and creative human beings.”

With collectives such as Culture Monks organising events such Momentum Experimental Art Festival and Alliance Française  du Bengale actively hosting events and discussions on contemporary theatre, the City of Joy is looking to sustain its rich theatre tradition through evolution.

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