Dark Things is a collaborative weaving together of bits of hardship from the new frontiers of work and suffering in the 21st Century. This world of cell-phones, silk and hazmat suits and the Afro-Asian landscape signify a world out of joint and out of moral kilter. Rebuilding a geography of crisis through the labouring body, scenographically and performatively through live music, image and sound, Dark Things takes to account histories and contemporary lives of people and the labour of living in dark times. The play is about the dark times we live in, the life of refugees, war, migration, capitalist arrogance, factory workers, manual scavengers and bone collectors.
This pluri-medial work has been thought through and workshopped within the confluence of a neo-constructivist/machinic spirit and Afro-Asian tonalities from raga to jazz. Based on a text for an Oratorio by Ari Sitas, the the project has emerged from a collaboration between Anuradha Kapur, Deepan Sivaraman and Sumangala Damodaran who used this as an opportunity to create a learning factory whose process of construction has been as important as the final work itself. Renowned musicians Chandran Veyattummal from Kerala and Reza Khota from South Africa are involved in creating the musical landscape for the production. The dramaturgy for the performance has been created by Purav Goswami, a graduate student of the Performance Studies programme.
The performance echoes this confluence of creative minds in the way it is structured as an open ended visual narrative threaded through experiences of oppression and tragedy in the late capitalist period. The performance raises intriguing questions about the human experience of humiliation, displacement and mechanization of labour in a world marked by histories of brutalities of man.
About the Directors
About the Group
Performance Studies Collective is a Delhi-based performance art and studies gathering engaged in the act of producing socially & spatially engaging performances which cross the borders of various art streams. The aim of the group is to critically engage with the field of performance as a truly inter-disciplinary practice bringing in musicians, dancers, writers, actors, directors and academicians from across the country and abroad in order to create performances that at once push the boundaries of form and content. The idea is to challenge the existing notions of theatre and performance and push towards a new and unique language of performance that positively contributes towards broadening the horizons of Indian performance culture. Majority of the members of the group are the graduates, students and professors of post graduate performance studies programme of School of Culture & Creative Expressions- Ambedkar University in Delhi.
Dark Things follows other productions of PSC like Its Cold in Here inspired by Marquez’s Innocent Erendira, The Little Prince of Antoine De Saint Exupery and Project Nostalgia inspired by Fellini’s Eight and Half, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari inspired by the German Expressionist Film (1920) of the same name, Work in Progress-A Nationalism Project, a performance inspired by the Constitution of India. Many of our productions have travelled to Theatre Festivals in India and abroad including International Theatre Festival of Kerala (Thrissur, Kerala), Bharat Rang Mahotsav (Delhi), Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (Delhi), Ulica International Festival of Street Theatre (Krakow, Poland) etc.