According to Sahiba Singh, director and founder of Flux School of Arts in Bengaluru, “Most people struggle to pinpoint what they are going through, post a breakup. The piece looks at love and intimate relationships, and how these relationships leave behind a labyrinth, a maze of complex emotions — joy, grief, guilt, shame, happiness, bliss, envy and other emotions.”
“With Clown’s Labyrinth, we hope to show audiences how the struggle with self validation, lack of closure and things left unsaid, eventually boils down to understanding the need to find an anchored space within ourselves. And how a space of self love will enable one to get out of the labyrinth of these emotions.”
So why clowns? “Since this is a difficult topic dealing with intense emotions, we wanted to bring a touch of lightness to it. All the performers who are going to be telling their stories will appear as clowns,” says Sahiba.
“The finale is a 12-minute dance piece, where the performers shed their skin and become as authentic and real to themselves as they can — by fully embracing their clown-selves,” she adds.
Clown’s Labyrinth is a lighter approach to Stories We Tell Ourselves, also produced by Sahiba which dealt with the same issues of heartache and self acceptance.
Both pieces were devised works, she says. “At a workshop participants are given a brief to explore various emotions. Then, we go through a process of creative writing. They are then rewritten from a perspective of what will work on stage. We break it down into abstract individual lines, and then add choreography and visuals,” she adds.
She explains how one person’s role of being the care giver in a relationship stemmed from their partner’s trauma from past hurts. “We wrote that realisation into a piece where he understands it is not his fault, but that of the men before him. It was surprising to see how it resonated with audiences.”
Clown’s Labyrinth follows a dance theatre format in the style of Pina Bausch, a German dancer who was instrumental in making the neo-expressionist style of dance acceptable. It combines narrative conveyed using movement, and dialogues if any, are abstract.
Clown’s Labyrinth will be staged at Bangalore International Center on May 7 at 7 pm. Tickets available on Skillbox.com