Maya Krishna Rao – ‘Loose Woman’

Loose Woman is the travels of a woman through and across media. What makes her loose is as much to do with the world around her, to the stuff that flows within her and, as mediated by, conjured, coaxed and driven by different
mediums – theatre, sound, and camera.

The show, Loose Woman, has traveled across different kinds of spaces. It started out in a theatre where a performer, a sound designer, and a singer, through a series of improvisations, ‘looked for her’ in different places, in different manifestations. These stories were given an episodic form. We see her at home getting ready for office and then, on a whim, stepping out of her cab and disappearing altogether. We catch up with her way past midnight playing ball alone on the national highway– she needs the stillness of the night to talk to herself. 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 is. And so on. The very ground beneath her seems to shift when she reacts with objects and characters from our world. Even Gandhi enters her world.

In preparing for a visual arts presentation at Serendipity, we re-juggled the material through a second round of improvisations. With the addition of the live camera as a ‘performer’, whole new manifestations of the loose woman rolled out. It seemed as if the camera was there to sometimes strengthen and clarify and sometimes challenge or complicate who she is. The Loose Woman sometimes uses the video to help develop her thought, is sometimes annoyed by its presence, and sometimes ignores it completely as it presents an alternative idea or thought.

This performance is part of Out of Turn, a project curated by Meenakshi Thirukode and Asia Art Archive.