Prabhat Bhaskeran is a director, actor and theatre researcher. His training in physical theatre in Singapore, research in Kodiyattum and Noh theatre, and work on different projects with Sankar Venkateswaran have inspired him to concentrate on a perforrner’s physical expression. In particular workshops on Butch he took in Tokyo gave him insights into presenting human bodies that experience unbearable physical pain. This grant provides Prabhat and his team with the opportunity to develop a full-fledged production which will represent and express physical pain in various forms.
The team will start by literally fragmenting the body, with its different parts performing various actions, to develop a sense of the complex mechanism of the body. Using games introduced by Roger Caillois in his book, Man, Play and Games, actors will be helped to identify and represent in performance ‘fic’tionalized’ bodies in pain in contrast to normal bodies. Prabhat believes that this attempt to explore physical pain will be innovative in the context of contemporary Malayalam theatre, where the “body is usually looked upon as ‘tradjtional’ or ‘contemporary’ but very rarely a performer concentrates on the ‘living’ body that deals with everyday movements.”
Following his work as an actor in Sankar Venkateswaran’s production of Richard Murphet’s Quick Death, Prabhat has been attracted to ‘physical’ scripts; hence his choice of Samuel Beckett’s Act Without Words 1 and Act without Words 2 for his proposed exploration of physical pain in performance. The open-ended structure of these Samuel Beckett scripts will allow Prabhat’s team to experiment with diverse body movements and generate new meanings related to their own context. In an effort to give the narrative on physical pain a thematic structure and generate new perspectives on pain and suffering, Prabhat will relate Beckett’s physical scripts to an influential story, qur, written by the modern Argentinean writer, Leopold Lugones. qur is the grim tale of a chimpanzee that a linguist acquires in the hope of training him to speak as humans do, but the chimpanzee is beaten up for failing to do what the linguist expects of him.
The proposed production will be premiered in Calicut in October 2010.
This description is part of the institutional records created by IFA at the onset of the grant. The project may have changed in due course as reflected in the deliverables from the Grantee.
Grant No : 2009-0-012
Grantee Name : Prabhath Bhaskaran
Programme : New Performance
Grant Status : Completed
Start Date : 31-03-2010
End Date : 31-10-2010
Duration : Seven months
Grant Amount : 3,00,000
Geographical Area of Work : Kerala
Disciplinary Field of Work : Theatre
Language : Malayalam