Deccan Chronicle

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

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Stories can be moving and movements can unfold stories. Then why not combine both to explore the matters of the mind in an experimental and powerful act? Well, this was exactly the thought process that saw the coming together of Janavi Ananth, choreography and dancer and Meera Venkatesan, story teller and narrator. And what unfolds is an innovative presentation where a story is unfolded through a movement narrative. This performance will explore, something which is a part of all our lives in some way or the other, make up. Well if you are intrigued, make sure you sign up to attend a unique movement narrative, a coming together of dance and narrative storytelling this weekend aptly titled, ‘Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.’

Meera Venkatesan
Meera Venkatesan

Janavi who likes to call herself as a mover -one who moves on her own, moves others, gets moved by others and moves along says, “by profession, I am a movement therapy practitioner with a certification in Movement Therapy and masters in psychology. I am trained in Bharatanatyam and contemporary dance.” And coming to stories they are a mirror of life. “I think that just like life, stories can be quirky, unpredictable, mundane, gut wrenching or even unreal.  An analogy I often think of is that stories are the ready-to-eat version of your favourite food. You get to instantly live or relive life instantly through stories,” says Meera Venkatesan storyteller, trainer and learning design specialist. Mirror, Mirror is an exploration of the mind and self-image unfolded through the simple and everyday routine of makeup. “After a couple of other collaborations, we were brainstorming on some ideas to present and ways to present them. This idea turned out to be the front runner. We wanted to use our individual strengths which are dancing and storytelling, but make something unique, different from a dance-drama. Movements are nothing but the rhythm and the continuity between the stops. This rhythm and continuity are the backbone of stories too. After doing this play, we are actually convinced that they go naturally together,” avers Meera.

Janavi Ananth
Janavi Ananth

Dance is a somatic version of story narration and storytelling dances with your thoughts, creativity, values and attitudes and the duo have found a mid-path through this performance.  “More than the product, for me it was the process of ‘making’ that is stronger. The curiosity of why and how make up or getting dressed can mean varied things to same or different people at similar or different times lead the exploration. My character is a container of many stories with layers; a feeling of ‘oh yes, that’s me, the girl next door’, I never thought of it this way, or definitely breaking the myth that ‘make up- revolving around girls only’ and how men are intimately involved at every phase. Kavya is them all. She wants to know how the look is determined by the being and how the being is defined by the looks. I relate to her since she is not judging or looking for solutions or jumping to conclusions. She is questioning, exploring and desiring life,” says Janavi. And the audience in Bengaluru certainly seems ready to lap it all up. “They are ready to explore anything from classic to contemporary. Sometimes the choice is pure entertainment and sometimes it is thought provoking acts.  There is definitely an inclination towards discovering new perspectives to life. And art is the safest way to facilitate this. We only keep our fingers crossed, so people make the choice to engage with what they resonate with the most, and not get drowned in the abundance,” says Meera. ​

  • What: Mirror Mirror on the wall
  • Where: 7th September Saturday 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
  • Where: Rangastala, Rangoli Metro Art center
  • Tickets: Events High (

This story first appeared in Deccan Chronicle Bengaluru dated Sep 6, 2019 here:

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