C Sharp C Blunt 2013
Meet Shilpa, an attractive, interactive and user-friendly mobile phone app that has been projected to be the most popular app of 2013.
Created using the latest technology, Shilpa will sing for you - in the flesh. She will sing the songs you want to hear with her sugary and husky voice, and shake her hips when you want her to as she dances to your favourite tune.
Best of all, she behaves exactly the way women are supposed to behave in the eyes of men; that is, until the next update is released.
Starring singer-actress MD Pallavi in her first ever solo performance, this one woman show is a witty, humorous and satirical interrogation of what it is like being a woman in the entertainment industry today.
The Indo-German collaboration explores the realms of digital dramaturgy, repetition and user choices to create a new hybrid form of theatre-meets-performance art.
|Text collaborators||Swar Thounaojam, Irawati Karnik|
|Assistant Director||Rituparna Bhattacharya|
|Live Sound||Nikhil Nagaraj|
|Light Design||Muhammad Mustafa A|
|Production Management||Veena Appiah & Shilpa Jagadish|
|Photography and Design||Shamik Sen Gupta|
14. - 17.3.13, Jagriti Bangalore (opening)
11.- 12.5.13, Kulturhaus Dock 4 Kassel (test run, in excerpts)
17. - 18.8.13, Ranga Shankara Bangalore
20.8.13, NCPA Experimental Mumbai
16. - 17.11. Kalaa Utsavam Festival, Esplanade, Singapore
25.1.2014, Co-Bank Auditorium, Trivandrum/Kerala
28.1.2014, International Theatre Festival of Kerala, Thrissur
4.3. 2014, META Awards, LTG, New Delhi
10.4. Smt Sivagami Pettachi Auditorium / Chennai
12.4. Goethe-Institut MMB / Kolkata
16.4. Ranga Shankara / Bangalore
"Since the female body will continue to be saleable for as long as we live in a society governed by male heterosexual norms, a play such as C Sharp C Blunt can be assured of eternal relevance. (...) “Kudos” is what I would have told the director Sophia Stepf if it hadn’t been on my personal list of ugly-sounding words. She has extracted a sparkling performance from Pallavi: a sweeping range of modulation in voice, impeccable timing so crucial for humour, and finely calibrated movements and moods. Anger peaks but doesn’t get out of hand; seriousness momentarily tips over into lightness or sarcasm and returns."
„We are cyborgs of a sort: our perceptions and constructs are derived from a social reality. Is this some sort of hidden curriculum? Are we programmed to think and act the way we do towards women – an objectified entity that belongs in the kitchen, and is typically understood within the realms of the male gaze? Just as you begin to ponder the answers to these questions, questions that will inevitably play on loop as Pallavi effortlessly drags you further and further into her portrayals, you realize your only escape is a bloodcurdling scream. A scream that shatters, and changes the way you think.“
(Explocity, april 2013)
Sophia and the team that has developed with her the script have done more than just being unique with this devised and improvised production. The play is a complex of the question of female agency over body and artistic expression as also the context of patriarchy which, against the background of the public outrage over rape and molestation of women in the country, creates just the right tension for the performance. And Pallavi brings off a tour de force, using all her virtuosity in singing and acting, mixed with an alive and active conscience grappling with the gender question, the public space without and the private one within. She beckons with her microphone held out, inviting us to speak, encouraging us to spill out our prejudices (speaking, of course, for men) and daring us to stare.“
(Bangalore Mirror, 21.4.13)