AF Trivandrum Brings ‘Via’ to India!

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Connoisseurs of Performing Arts were in for a pleasant surprise when Alliance Française de Trivandrum brought the ever-evolving production Via to India. The piece can best be described as an amalgamation of music, dance, and circus which is the result of an organic union between artists from different traditions. Every iteration is unique and responsive to the venue, audience, climate, and bodies of the performers. The India tour of Via brought together the three original French artists of the performance – Ode Rosset (chinese pole), Fatima El Hassouni (multi-lingual vocals), and Jerome Cury (percussions) – in close collaboration with two practitioners of Kalaripayattu namely Kishor CK and Subheesh PB. The resulting performances were as evocative as they were ephemeral – standing in rich testimony to the potential of intercultural exchanges!

(L to R) Fatima El Hassouni, Jerome Cury, and Ode Rosset - the original trio of 'Via'

(L to R) Fatima El Hassouni, Jerome Cury, and Ode Rosset – the original trio of ‘Via’

Fatima sings in several different languages and her vocals are accompanied by the percussions of Jerome on three primary axis. The first is a link with Nature emphasized through the use of water or wind or instruments like aquaphone or harmonic flutes and materials such as wood, crystal, bamboo or even metal. The second is a spiritual quest highlighted through the use of Crystal or Tibetan bowls, gongs, or sanzas which offer an invitation to travel and to meditate. The third is intrinsically connected to trance and is achieved through the use of repetitive rhythms and the choice of percussion instruments such as the sabbar, the bendir, or the Chinese drum. Both musicians are completely part of the scenography – moving along, moving apart, and meeting again in a musical and corporeal ballet.

Kishor CK

Kishor CK

Ode dances on the Chinese pole thereby embodying weightlessness and challenging the fear of heights. Since an initial 6-month stay in India wherein she learnt Kalarippayattu, Ode has been revisiting the country every year to broaden her understanding of the martial art form. For several years, Kishor CK has been the national champion of Kalaripayattu. He learnt from KJV Kalari of Puthuppaly with Baiju Varguese Gurukal and likes to combine the traditional movements of this martial art with his own choreographic gestures. Subheesh PB is the eldest brother of Kishor and was a champion of kalaripayattu for a long time before becoming an Ayurvedic therapist and Kalari teacher. He hones his craft in the KJV kalari of Puthuppaly where he learned from his master Baiju Varghese Gurukal.

Subheesh PB

In essence, Via can be performed anywhere – in uncommon and abandoned places, patrimonial or religious monuments, open-air areas but also community centres, private venues, and museums. The India-tour was met with popular and critical acclaim in Trivandrum (March 3), Bangalore (March 5), Chennai (March 7), Hyderabad (March 9), Chandigarh (March 11), Bhopal (March 13), Delhi (March 16), Pondicherry (March 20 and 21), and Indore (March 24). A video of the performance captured by the Malayalam News Channel Kaumudy can be found below :

Siddharth Bhatt

Rédaction, AF Magazine Inde-Népal

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Rédaction

Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...