Home Entertainment ‘-Scape’ at Ranga Shankara preview: A long-distance dance duet

‘-Scape’ at Ranga Shankara preview: A long-distance dance duet


Two dancers, who are separated by thousands of miles, attempt an exchange of their stories, cultures and lives through their art

Hemabharathy Palani will be performing a dance duet at Ranga Shankara on March 16. She will, however, be the only person on stage. You will see her co-dancer Ryu Suzuki’s pre-recorded video from Japan. The video will not be a mere recording of his dance. You get to hear him share his life — about his favourite Doraemon toy, his fear of water among other things. And, Hemabharathy’s performance will be a response to Ryu.

The two dancers, separated by time and distance, will exchange their stories, cultures and lives through their art. This separation and an inexplicable intimacy, typically shared between two penpals, form the crux of -Scape, produced by Japan Foundation and Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts.

In the performance, you get to see how a topic evokes starkly different emotions within two people. Hemabharathy explains with an example: “Ryu is afraid of water. Even in a public pool, he feels there might be sharks out there to get him. Whereas, I love jumping into water. I have a lot of strong memories from my childhood related to water. For me, water means purifying.”

The two artists, despite having not met in person, spoke via Zoom over the last six months to develop the idea for -Scape. “I think it is a new way of creating and collaborating with others around the world,” says Ryu, “I hope that this piece will help some people who can’t travel and who feel lonely. Though we are far apart, we can still be together.”

Dance will be the principal art in the performance. But it will be embellished by Tatsuki Amano’s music, MD Pallavi’s singing and Nao Yoshigai’s filmmaking. Takao Norikoshi, the director of Japan Dance Plug Co. Ltd, and Jayachandran Palazhy, the artistic director of Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts mentored the artists in the project.

The 50-minute performance will begin at Ranga Shankara on March 16, 7.30 pm. Tickets (priced ₹200) on bookmyshow.com

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