What to say except, come and stream the show. Meaning, I am happily and full heartedly tired after rehearsing, and presenting, having it recorded on Friday by Andy Atkins of Capital Video here in Santa Fe.. He filmed it beautifully and the footage is - well, wait till you see - I think it's just lovely and creates a very immersive encounter with the story.
The whole unfolding of the play has been very true and organic. I also really appreciate the re-encounter with Pan Asian Repertory Theatre where I presented The Good Manners of Colonized Subjects in the summer of 2019.
This is an entirely different summer.
If you saw the December preview of Once I was a stone, you'll recognize some parts of it but this version has an entirely new opening and ending. Thanks to Kapila Venu for giving me a chance to learn a kudiyattam sequence that interprets an Urdu poem, Mei Ek Bar Pathar Thi, written by my mother Tanveer Coelho, which in itself emerged from a request by me to her to translate an old flamenco cante, Fui Piedra first attributed to Mercedes "La Serneta" in the late 1800s/early 1900s. I asked my mother to translate four lines and she dreamed up a new poem in Hindustani that is entirely her own, entirely true to the spirit of the cante. Got that? jaja
In the play, Jafelin Helten sings the piedra cante por tientos. How she sings! And Aparna Sindhoor, my bharatanatyam teacher, choreographs a sequence where I dance in "a cave of my own accord."
The pranayama I study with Dr. Srivalli TS grounded me during the whole process.
And always, thanks to Venu G, Natanakairali whose Navarasa Sadhana worshops began this whole journey for me.
I am an apprentice to these crafts and also these kinds of mixes and border crossings in language and story and arte - I just love it- and it feels very natural to my way of being and seeing. While respecting the root of all the traditions and following lineages with humility.
Oh and what is the play about? This whole year. My whole life. Like that.
Here's a synopsis: A solo work about a stone lost at sea that finds its way home, only to face a new world that upends old notions of race, place and purpose. The play is a mixture of poetry, monologues, and dance drawn from flamenco, kudiyattam and bharatanatyam.
I'm excited to see the whole festival - to see the work of fellow artists, companions on the journey. The arte goes on. The arte goes on.
Stream away. stream away. stream away...