Friday, September 12, 2014

An act in mask

Theatre lovers in Pune are in for a treat as this Sunday at Arc Asia, Koregaon Park where an unusual play unfolds in front of the patrons. Music Matters will present A Tale of Two Treaties which is a Commedia Dell’Arte play for the first time in Pune. One man with ten masks will tell a story of love, betrayal, vengence and more with lots of hilarious results. While the one man army behind the play is Deepal Doshi, Music Matters is run by the young Arthur Fernandes and Chantelle Cabral. Commedia Dell’Arte happens to a popular and influential Italian form of masked theatre from 16th century. Here, you have masks, improvisation, physical comedy and grotesque humour and also meet archetypes.

Deepal Doshi
Deepal’s foray in physical theatre began at Grotowski-based school in Sweden, where he learned Commedia Dell’Arte for three weeks. “I immediately found an affinity to the world of masks. My teacher then suggested me to study physical theatre in California at Dell'Arte International School Of Physical Theatre. I studied here for 3 years. Here is where I studied forms like Commedia Dell'Arte, Clowning, Melodrama, Tragedy, Buffoun, Devising, Adaptation work. At the end of school, I was working as a freelance artist directing shows, acting and teaching in the US, Sweden and Bali.”

We return to A Tale of Two Treatise. After taking the decision to come to India in 2012, doing something in Commedia Dell’Arte was running through his head. “I tried to look up on the internet and asked friends if they knew of anyone doing Commedia Dell’Arte in India and unfortunately I couldn’t find any. I was averted to the idea of starting with a workshop or beginning by teaching about Commedia Dell’Arte to introduce the form in India. So I decided to experiment with this form. Even though Commedia Dell’Arte is an ensemble form, I decided to create a one-man show. I wanted to challenge myself just the way the form challenges the actor to create a piece of work that engages, entertains and inspires. I was all set to perform this show in Mumbai at The Hive, where I met Chantelle Cabral with Arthur Fernandes. Unfortunately the rains destroyed the make-shift roof and the show was cancelled but a small chat with Chantelle and her partner was enough to inspire the three of us to collaborate. They introduced me to the possibility of performing at Arc Asia in Pune. Since I haven’t performed for a Pune audience, we thought this might be a great way to premiere this show here.”

Speaking about Music Matters, Chantelle reveals, “Our company is into very innovative events indeed. And creating a new path and opening out a new horizon of innovation for the people to see, take part in and experience. All our events are organised on our own and we also work along with like-minded people. We are blessed to come in contact, work with, or associate with the people who share the same thought of experimenting with interesting ideas that are out of the box.”
For any artiste, his creations hold something special for him to do it. For Deepal, it is the engaging world of masks. “What excites me the most is the experience that the show transcends from one actor playing ten characters to an entertaining story of these eccentric characters that entertains the audiences. This performance demands a lot of energy and everytime it creates a magical space where I feed off the audience energy and throw it back at them creating a “play” in every sense of the word. My memory of Puneris has been of fun and enthusiasm ans I have a feeling that that’s what they will have on Sunday. The show in Arc Asia is not just a performance but an entire evening of great food, great wine and a wild theatrical experience.”

This Mumbai-based actor, creator, director and educator has travelled all over learn various works
Chantelle Cabral & Arthur Fernandes 
like Commedia Dell’Arte, Clown, Melodrama, Mime, Tragedy. “I teach workshops and master classes for acting professionals as well as students in U.S.A, Sweden, India and Indonesia. I am currently performing this one man show directed by Kathryn Doshi as well as It’s Not Waht You Tihnk, a three person original devised  Commedia Dell'Arte play, written and directed by me.”
For Deepal, the thing that enthrals him about theatre is its essence from his point of view. “The performer shares a unique emotional and intellectual vulnerability with his/her audience in an exclusive time and space that they have agreed to be in together. I believe the experience of an audience watching physical theatre is profoundly visceral as much as it is intellectual and emotional.  In all the work I create and aspire to create, I am always questioned by my sub-conscious “What is it about your theatre Deepal that film cannot recreate?”. I believe this forms the basis of my work and the inspiration for me devoting myself to theatre.”

Regarding Music Matters which has base in Pune, Mumbai and Goa, along with events in Nashik, Delhi and worldwide, Chantelle speaks, “We are always open to moving to where ever we are needed. We always have done our best to have the most successful events and got very positive responses from them. The only tough part we find is to talk to people and introduce concepts that haven’t been done before. Innovative Events, Drum Circles, Artist Management and so much more... keeping Music as a constant base, we work around.”

They makes sure that they give back to society as much as they can. “At the end, if you believe and faith in what you do, leave the rest to nature and you shall see it all fall in place at its own time. You do what you love doing and you will never have to work for the rest of your life, and that’s what we do.”

VENUE: Arc Asia, ABC Farms, North Main Road, Koregaon Park
DATE: September 14th, 2014
TIME: Cocktails at 7pm and Showtime at 9pm
TICKET & INFO: 9860088475

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