Dear friends, family and Performers Without Borders supporters,
How are you? Hope all is well! Check out our video from Calcutta:
Thanks to your support, we are all teaching and performing over 40 hours every week in India!
India is intense. The road has no rules, dodging chai wallas, honking motor bikes, migrating herds of jurassic pooping water buffalo on thirty year old bikes. Not to mention on our backs the 3 meters of canvas, bags of diablos, juggling clubs, peacock feathers, plus a hitch hiking student on the wheel’s rim. Fortunately, the city streets of San Francisco and the Rockies have built my calves like a water buffalo.
Now, I am accustomed to clown cars, fitting 6 or 7 clowns and musicians, plus props, into an American Suburu outback. But India is the next level. We have had 9 people in a two seater took took (a tiny 3 wheeled car). Our acrobalance training has paid off, as we sit on top of each other, hang off the sides, grasping onto gear, the acro mats on a canvas roof, swerving in and out of the urban slum areas, honking all the way, beep, beep, beep!
On Saturday, we hosted a hand-made circus prop making workshop for the kids, sponsored by our generous donors ;). We used rice and cloth to hand sew poi, recycled bottles and wood for juggling clubs, and some fire staffs. Now the kids have tools to practice with during the year, and the know how to make more, before the next Performers Without Borders team arrives in spring 2016! We have been returning to Asha Deep for seven years, and the skill level and physical coordination of the students is very high. Thankfully, they are teaching me how to juggle and spin!
How can I pintpoint the ripple effect of teaching and cultivating art in young people, many of whom life will be full of economic struggle? How can we foresee the life paths of these blossoming artists, budding teachers, on the banks of the Ganga? How will their work move their communities? One such group of 13 year-olds, The Happy Talent Group, form their identity within juggling and circus. As we bid them farewell at our front gate, we said, “This world needs you as artists, and teachers, and you can make money doing it! Go out and rock on!” They smile, sad to see the weird circus leave town, hesitant to leave. As the world shifts and turns, as the global climate crisis increases, the work of bringing young people together, and facilitating collaboration, creativity, art and joy feels invaluable.
Sub Kuch Milenga ( Anything is Possible)
Performers Without Borders
Benares, Uttar Pradesh
Naropa BFA: Theater 2012/2013