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Senses of Life - a life's story
- Vijay Manjeshwar

July 22, 2020

It has been over 5 months now that all of us are confined to our homes and home offices. While some of us still have a home office to operate, not all are privileged - speaking of the artistes from various Indian art forms. This phase has been extremely trying and a test of patience. I recall attending a dance performance in the auditorium around mid-March 2020, after which the pandemic happened. Many artistes are literally grappling to hold on to themselves. The challenges they face are many fold - there are no opportunities to put up a show and it's impossible to hold physical classes due to social distancing norms. Artistes for whom their art is livelihood have lost all.

I happened to watch this production by Geeta Sirisha of Bangalore, 'Senses of Life - a life's story.' What struck me was the concept and the core purpose of the production, which Geeta Sirisha brought out in collaboration with 4 more performers, Gowri Sagar and Prathibha Ramaswamy from Bangalore, Radhika Shetty and Deepak Kumar from Mangalore amidst the Covid pandemic challenges. Responding to the unbelievable plight of the artistes, some of whom are resorting to service delivery jobs to stay afloat and sustain their family needs, the likeminded team decided to ticket the production and donate a part of the funds to Ananya Charitable Trust, an organization involved in the service of artistes for the past 25years.

'Senses of Life' is a journey through the critical phases of life of an individual. Each performer has used one prop as a mainstay of the theme and has woven the story with the prop. Simple and soulful - the music with variety is not to miss. Every phase is explained with perfectly befitting abhinaya, and the instruments such as piano, flute, keyboard, sitar and vocals embellished the best output from the performers.

One can see the distinct creativity, each performer maintaining their individuality. The videos were shot at their respective places (on the terrace under the blue sky in daylight, in the studio, in the balconies etc). "Less is more" - with minimal resource the team has put together this brilliant production which touches people from every walk of life. Abhinaya portrayal was real to life with a fine balance of natya and lokadharmi aspects.

The program will be available until 5th August 2020 on for a nominal entry fee; one can watch it at their own convenience.

Vijay Manjeshwar is a Bharatanatyam artiste and ardent art enthusiast.

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