Fascinating intermingling strands in Muskaan

Muskaan, Kathak-Mime-Clowning, performing arts, Bhakti Shah, Anjali Shah

Whatever scientists say, the moon will continue to have romantic associations and connotations.  A poet has ‘late night conversations with the moon’.  Another imagines the moon to be a balloon coming out from where ‘it’s always green and everyone’s in love’. Two pretty young women in a  dainty stage production Muskaan think of bringing the moon down to this earth!

Moonstruck Anjali Shah and Bhakti Shah were together on stage at Theatre Scrapyard on March 18 and 19 with complementary skills. The medium of expression with one is a combination of Kathak, Mime, a bit of theatre and clowning. With the other the medium is storytelling. Italy-based Anjali’s skills in Kathak, honed by Sandhya Desai, are good enough for her to turn her communication lyrical. Bhakti has a flair for delicately telling a story verbally and to excite the listener’s imagination before Anjali interprets its details visually.

Muskaan, Kathak-Mime-Clowning, performing arts, Bhakti Shah, Anjali Shah


The demeanour of both the performers, gentle and self-effacing, is pleasingly viewer-friendly. Anjali as Arlechhina wearing dramatic eye masks develops a nimble-footed fairylike image as from a never-never land of creative imagination. She thoughtfully gets accessible to the viewers when for the moon that she has brought on the earth and finds lost she searches a couple of viewers’ pockets and even mouths – also when she gives them a feel of Krishna’s signature feather. It would have perhaps looked more appropriate if the moon while being returned to the sky instead of falling on the ground had got entangled in her dress or had appeared slid down to the earth!

Bhakti as a lively storyteller sensibly enough wears a flowing gown and a pleasing smile. She now sits silent on a swing in a corner close to the backdrop watching the fantasy world unfolding, now coming in front in the centre sharing with the audience further development in the story. It is understandable that she chooses to not appear protruding and remain gently withdrawn. A dramatic modulation of the voice to stress turning points in the story and its moods, and the soft voice raised a bit in pitch, however, would have had her character received even better.

Muskaan, Kathak-Mime-Clowning, performing arts, Bhakti Shah, Anjali Shah, Scrap-Yard


It is fascinating finding strands in the simple story intermingling. Arlechhina, a character from an Italian folk tradition, mooning about the moon, sails across seven seas and comes to Dwarka to find Krishna, a prominent figure straddling a rich Indian tradition. There are strains of both Indian and Italian music that support the happenings. There are glimpses of the forms of performance of both the countries, too.

The moon looks lacklustre, but the stars do shine on the tree as part of the sky. Its limits lit up with fragrant tiny jasmine flowers, the small acting area proximate to the seats at Scrapyard looked lovely. Though by amateurs, the performance caught the fancy of the small audience. For it to become a mainstream art event, though, it needs to amplify many of its elements.

Photograph Courtesy: Harsh Oza

Yatra Archives

https://creativeyatra.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Untitled-1-Copy.jpg This library in Ahmedabad is 159 years old

Creative Yatra explores a little known library right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Bhadra Plaza, called ‘Himabhai Institute’.   Lal Darwaja, the biggest hub for hawkers and patrons, where people flock as if everything is been sold…

https://creativeyatra.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/02.jpg Fernandes Bridge – the most unique book market in Ahmedabad!

The street Fernandes Bridge connects readers with writers, students with publishers and curious beings with the age-old answers they’re looking for. The Chopda Bazaar of Fernandes Bridge is one of the oldest Book Markets in Ahmedabad that serves thousands of people…

https://creativeyatra.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/library.skecth-001-e1460358412631.jpg Discover one of the oldest libraries of Ahmedabad

The oldest library of Ahmedabad, Hazrat Pir Mohammad Shah Library, is blessed with quietness of the mosque that surrounds it. Ahmedabad has internationally carved its identity on the globe through the numerous mosques dotted across the city. The air confined…

https://creativeyatra.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Raashi-Man-Mask.jpg In ‘Raashi Man’, we see glimpses of the magic that theatre is capable of

The nip in the air for a change was low and expectations were relatively high on the ground open to the sky at the young theatre writer-director Chintan Pandya’s residence for ‘a unique experience’ in the ‘environmental theatre’ format he…