Playing the part of ‘Alice’ in a Bharatnatyam adaptation of “Alice through the looking glass” is a treasured experience. It was a first hand viewing of how very little is lost in translation when ideas are presented through a creative medium. What intrigued me most at the age of eleven was how the audience was the missing piece of the equation. With them present, we as performers were validated. I wasn’t sure then and I am still making up my mind whether that is a good thing!
My exploration of the art world was facilitated by my family in a most unique way. Hotels and restaurants were what my family did, but it was the Arts that kept them alive. My Father, a Cornell graduate and my Mother a graduate from the London School of Art were part of a group of spiritualists who were engaged in creative expression. My elder brother and I found ourselves in the company of the late A.R. Achrekar, Arpana Kaur, Amroz, the late Amrita Preetam and the late Sheela Dhar to name a few. It is these visionaries that helped me push my boundaries of self. They allowed me to walk beside them, for a few miles, and for that I am grateful and honored. Amroz once told me that the audience takes ownership of the work of art through their projected emotions. The battle between the artist and her audience was once again calling out to be addressed in my mind. There are those that place themselves behind the camera, the artworks, and the performance. They address the audience through manipulation and I find myself between them and the audience, trying to gather what exactly is lost in translation.
It is in this role as bridge and facilitator that my work and research find true expression. By presenting art to an audience, helping it discover what lies before it and beyond, not re-defining it, but allowing the audience to absorb and experience, I feel that the Artist, the Viewer and me the Curator collectively become the story, the narrative that links us to …whatever is next!?