The Tetseo Sisters, at their house in
Kohima, Nagaland, getting ready
for a performance
The Camera gives one great freedom in terms of perspectives and angles - one can catch all the action from the best vantage point, one can turn the performance on its head, bring in views from backstage for example that give the whole thing new meaning - but what you lose is the immediacy and the choice. As a filmmaker or Camera person, I’m making the decisions about what the audience should see, what emotion should be highlighted, and which action is important at a given moment.
Honza and Sieve, students of the
Subbody Butoh School in McLeod Ganj
Young monks waiting to perform at the Buddh Jayanthi celebrations,
Kaza Monastery, Spiti Valley
For the last two years, my friend Ishwar and I have been filming performances as part of a project we were working on, a nonverbal film. The idea has been not to look at performances merely on the stage, but to also find music and rhythm in daily life, as well as to see the performer in the everyday. The focus of our project is on everyday music and rhythms, and a large portion of it is dedicated to work music – music that accompanies or is closely connected to a specific form of work. One of the fascinating things about work music is its theatrical quality. Work music has a strong visual and dynamic quality to it. The swing of the spade, the tap of the feet on the loom, the swish of the broom, the turn of the potter’s wheel, these movements are an integral part of the rhythm of work music. Our visual focus is on these physical movements that accompany the music, looking at what these body movements are, where they originate from, how groups of people move through a certain space, their choreography, how they move the tools of the trade, and how patterns are created.
Passing time at the community sit-out, Phek, Nagaland
The writer is a film-maker and is a collaborator in the project U-RA-MI-LI, which documents music and rhythm in everyday life