Ranjha Revisited is
a dance-theatre piece that seamlessly fuses two archetypical
narratives from North and South India: the predominant Sufi
love legend from the Punjab, ‘Heer Ranjha’ interspersed with
‘Kutrala Kuravanji’, a genre of dance-drama from Tamil Nadu
in which a gypsy foretells the heroine, Vasantvalli, of her
destined union with Lord Siva.
Inspired by the open-as-the-sky abandon of Sufi poetry and,
on the other hand, the crystallized structures which inform
the Tamil poetic expression, Fana'a: Ranjha Revisited attempts
to diffuse the ‘high’ and ‘low-art’ polarities through a male-duet,
freely intermixing and juxtaposing the two texts without a fixed
flow of narrative or fixed characterizations. Hence, Ranjha
becomes Siva, becomes Vasantvalli, becomes Heer, a gypsy, a
sakhi, a mendicant, and so on. Each identity willingly immersing
itself in the other. Shedding its skin to discover another.
Drawing on plural dance vocabularies -Bharatanatyam, Chhau,
Yoga, modern dance and physical theatre, the choreographic treatment
Operatic in nature, the work centers on Ranjha - a harbinger
of continuity - who is continuously changing through his response
to the land, the sound and the sensuous core of life. Fascinated
by his own impermanence, Ranjha thus becomes the bard of a million
masquerades, crossing cultural, spiritual and existential spaces
with ease, acquiring both impermanence and omnipresence.