Image credit: Rutwij Paranjpye
To conclude our first conference, MAP will present Lady Anandi: Redux, a continuation of Lady Anandi which was a documentary theatre performance by Anuja Ghosalkar that played across India, Germany and Sweden between 2016 and 2020. In that, an actor is haunted by the ghost of her great grandfather—a female impersonator in late 19th century Marathi theatre—every time she goes up on stage. It is the story of two actors separated by a hundred years: one who plays a lady convincingly, and the other, struggling to be a woman on stage.
Lady Anandi: Redux is a re-opening of the archives of previous shows, alongside excerpts of the “real” show. In the past two years the performer’s body has changed, her way of embodying this performance has altered. The citation of past work in the present, is a deliberate gesture, as it brings with it the privilege and pitfall of processual and temporal distance. How can she re-cite her own work? What is unchanged? What is easily discarded?
The original Lady Anandi was presented at that moment when research had ended, and the performance challenged the conventions of theatre. It drew the audience’s attention to the process of making a work rather than a finished product. Lady Anandi: Redux may further unravel the murkiness of creating a performance. And critically, in the absence of a director, the audience takes on that role.
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