Maya K. Rao’s Play: Loose Woman
Playwright & Director: Maya Krishna Rao
Group: Vismayah, Delhi
Duration: 1 hr 15 mins
Loose Woman is about the travels of a woman – into and out of herself. To make this show, a performer, a video & sound designer, and a singer, through a series of improvisations, ‘looked for her’ in different places, in different manifestations. The stories that emerged were given an episodic form. They each stand alone, though a loose thread connects them all. We see her at home getting ready for office and then, on a whim, stepping out of her cab and disappearing altogether. In ‘Dancer’ she discovers what it means to not walk the straight and narrow but to ‘side-step’. ‘The Line’ jolts her into the realization of how precious her own looseness really is. And so on…
She looks for, she muses, she discovers the possibilities of ‘looseness’ in her life – of new directions she can create. The very ground beneath her seems to shift when she reacts with objects and characters from the world around her. She rediscovers her own mother. Even Gandhi enters her universe.
With humour, yet serious introspection, Loose Woman has been conjured, coaxed and driven by different mediums – theatre, sound, dance and the camera. Of course, the underlying reference here is to the heavy irony in the throwaway expression ‘loose woman’, whose application is rampant in a skewed familial and social setting crafted by just one sex.
For the purposes of this show, though, she’s not loose enough….not yet!
Way back in 2002, I had made a show called A Deeper Fried Jam. In trying to recreate it, I found myself veering towards this woman – the ‘loose woman’. Possibly, it’s the sign of our times – it is by looking through a woman’s gaze that we see, in sharp relief, currents and under currents at play in society. The one person who carried over from the 2002 show is Gandhi – he seems to have travelled over the years and found a firm place in the ‘loose woman’s’ universe. This performance derives in its entirety from improvisations with a guitar player and a singer. Musically too, we wanted to keep it open – traverse a range of musical references – from rock to blues to sounds closer home. For each show we change the mix of episodes, to keep her fresh and alive.
The Director & Playwright
Maya Krishna Rao is a theatre artist and teacher. Her shows range from dance-theatre to cross media collaborations to comedy. She is her own performer, writer and director. Some of her celebrated performances are, Khol Do, The Job, A Deeper Fried Jam, Heads are Meant for Walking Into and Ravanama. Walk was created in response to the horrific gang rape in a moving bus and eventual tragic death of Jyoti Singh in 2012. Her latest, Loose Woman, are explorations of the extents to which a woman can stretch and redefine herself.
Vismayah was founded in 1993 under the chairpersonship of Shri P.N. Haksar, diplomat and iconic policy maker. On a regular basis Vismayah attempts to create new theatre, drawing upon our traditions of dance, music and the other arts. Among it’s celebrated productions are Khol Do, A Deep Fried Jam, Heads are Meant for Walking Into, Are You Home, Lady Macbeth? and Ravanama. Vismayah also works in the area of education, conducting workshops for teachers and students on drama as a methodology of education. Vismayah performances have travelled to various places, both across the world and in India and have been received with critical acclaim.
Cast & Credits
Performer Maya Krishna Rao
Sound design Sumant Balakrishnan,
Video design Santana Issar
Lights Sujay Saple
Costume Pratima Pandey
& Direction Maya Krishna Rao
A 30 Friends Colony East
New Delhi- 110065
M: +91 9818324311