It was two in the afternoon and drizzling. The sky turned gray and everyone assembled under the shaded premises, called as a classroom. The lush green campus of MICA did help in uplifting the poetic side of the participants. Team Ahmedabad Poetry Slam along with Delhi Poetry Slam and Litcomm MICA were all set to commence the Ahmedabad Poetry Festival. The participants were now anticipating and chewing the tip of their pens and few women were observed playing with their curls when Ikenna Onyegbula, the World Poetry Slam Champion, and Kyle Louw the spoken word expressionist entered accompanying Mirande Shah the connoisseur vocalist and her pianist.
A thunderbolt of energy was observed amongst the participants’ face when both the poets introduced themselves with a small piece of creativity. The participants were left awestruck when Ikenna’s poetry exclaimed qualities like balanced expressions, the perspective of observing details, inspiration seeking techniques and body movements. Whereas Kyle’s right timing pause method, word selection, precise voice modulation and audience engagement skill, did stole away the show. Both the poets were working like a facilitating team, who wished not to handhold the aspiring poets but to walk in their shoes, empathise their expectations and conduct the workshop like a team.
Ikenna, who has a niche in working with both adults and kids explained everyone how necessary it is to be confident about your own poetry and believing in yourself. He also explained that there is nothing called as a writer’s block when you have broadened your perspective of inspiration and stay determined with it. Kyle explained how feelings arrive and how necessary it is for a poet to compare his/her personality with the subject to justly understand its process and converting it into a literary.
The Day 1 had a surprise element when Mirande Shah and Kyle amalgamated their skills beautifully into one another. Mirande’s voice, Kyle’s poetic words, and the pianist’s chords formed a mesmerising sonnet, which was deeply enamoured by the participants. Prolonging it, Mirande had a personal word with the participants where she explained how to rhyme a poem perfectly; she explained the rules, tactics and the proper pattern to do it. She explained how the repetition of a hook line creates an everlasting impression on the audience and how a rhythmic poetry/song creates sync with the thinking process. Lastly, she beautifully quoted how one should remove all his/her masks while writing or performing and should not create to impress.
The process of involvement among the participants was also beautifully conducted through energizers, where they acted, expressed, felt and communicated through different body motion and senses. Lastly, the Open Mic performance which was moderated by Priyal Thakkar truly boosted the confidence of performers. The poems were shared in both English and Hindi and were appreciated equally by the audience.
The day culminated with a heart throbbing poetry performance by Ikenna, which almost left everyone with tears.
More than 40 participants are now eagerly looking forward to the final performance on 31st July, which is expected to attract hundreds of poetry enthusiasts across the city.
This is a fantastic beginning for the Performance Poetry scene in city, and we shall look forward to these young set of participants to show up and poetry do’s more often.
Photographs: Ravi Panchal
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