Ali – beyond the ring
Powerful and immersive, Ali- beyond the ring combines spoken word, dance, boxing, Afro-
American singing, original footage of Ali’s fights, animation, pyrotechnics and 1970s black
pop music. This is a semi-autobiographical exploration of identity, race, religion, and war, is
intentionally alienated to reflect struggles of other regions with special reference to
contemporary Indian realities.
Center for contemporary art (C4CART) depicts on the stage, the legendary boxing hero
Muhammad Ali. This play will focus mainly in three areas his fight against racism, his
conversion to Islam and the fight against US Government over the Vietnam War. The story
unfolds his raise from a normal boy to the great boxing champion and then to a model
humanist. This romantic heroic plot will be set as rhythmic physical performance.
The play starts with the lighting of Atlanta Olympic torch by a shivering Ali and then to his childhood challenges and the dramatic spark to learn fighting to beat the thief who took away his bicycle. Throughout the play, the music band gives the socio-political reflection during the civil right movement. Then play develops to winning Olympic medal and then throwing it to Ohio River as an outburst over racial discrimination’. His heavyweight championship fights and conversion to Islam. Ali’s fight with the United States government for the right not to participate in the Vietnam War is detailed in the climax of the play.
The play will be staged to environmental theatre design. Conceptually the form is near to
theatre of cruelty. A team of musicians will be performing live throughout the play to
capture Ali’s passion for Afro-American music. Rhythmic movements will provide seamless
transitions for emotional continuity for the play. The musical genre of play shall be a blend
of rhythm & blues and reggae. The intentional alienation in music with struggle songs
originated from different parts of the world will place the highlight of the form.
Joy P.P, Artistic Director, Center for Contemporary art, To practice theater to the maximum limit of artistic excellence, improving craft and thoughts on each production avoiding imitation and repetition.