Saturday, March 24, 2007

New from India

Things are going great here working with the Patachitra painters. They are truly fantastic artists and we have really improved their performance abilities a lot already! They’re singing, dancing, enhancing their expressivity, and developing characters... and then to boot, yesterday they went on stilts and it was completely transformative! Even the old man and his wife, the most shy of the women, were up there and just beaming!! We are no
w on the way to their village and can you imagine how their neighbors will react to seeing them on the stilts and performing with a new pizzazz!

Love to all

Friday, March 16, 2007

A note from Kolkata

We’re here in Kolkata, and again we are working harder than ever! It's crazy but fun. We have put together our India-Afghan-US collaborative show, which we are all very excited about. It’s grown now to a cast of ten!!

Amitava here at Banglanatok is so attentive to all details and making sure we are accommodated in every way. The one thing he cannot control is the political situation. The exact area of Bengal, where we were planning to go, is now under police control as riots have already killed many people. It's a major deal here in India thouhgh it’s likely had no press in the US. It indicates a real shift in the political climate from a left wing to right wing position.

The farmers are having their land seized by industrial companies and the police are taking the sides of the industry even though the government has ALWAYS been pro-farmer. Not long ago, the police actually fired into the crowd of peasants and killed 17 people. Needless to say, everyone here is pretty much in shock and our work in that particular area has temporarily been put on hold.

We'll keep you posted,