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Agent Provocateur: The theatre of the absurd, Rhinoceros, Carl Sagan and the human body ?

Poster Source: Shapeshift Collective

Agent Provocateur—The fourth production by Shapeshift collective is a vivid experiment on the human body. Devised and performed by Arpit Singh, Surabhi Dayan and Harsh Karangale. The piece was performed at Art sphere Pune and will go to Rangashankara Bengaluru and Prithvi Theater. The performance is choreographed and directed by Sujay Saple. On googling "Provocateur" it throws the name of a lingerie design company in the UK. If "Khwaab Sa" is an expression of contemporary dance, Agent Provocateur is an unending search for a dance vocabulary. The intimate space and the choreography brought the audience palpably close to the artist. When Arpit takes the space, he is frantically moving on the floor and trying different dance forms. A modicum of this dance form and then another; a confused eruption of dance forms like a volcano. It's not hysterical, it's not frantic. The body goes in a natural eruption of dance forms. Yes there was a personal response and a collective 'anxious." Scenes of raw love making caught your attention. Arpit opens his T-shirt and then wears it, he goes on mumbling about his left hand and the right. He lets the T-shirt settle on himself; after arguing to himself. He begins to argue the functions of the left arm and the right. The voice is unmistakably innocent. There is conflict, humor and contradiction. The use of The Beatles "Across the Universe' (rewritten by Rachel Sousa) is interesting. The film is directed by Tony Award-winning director Julie Taylor. The first piece runs an adaptation of the Wolf dog text from the series 'Cosmos' written by Carl Sagan. This is where the dancers erupt in the dance form like movements. The choreography on the excerpt from Eugene's Ionesco 'Rhinoceros' is full of intensity and at times I thought it was a love making scene. The piece has a scientific, absurdity at the same time dance like feel to it. It not theatre and dance also but a knowledge system presented on stage. The choreography to the song "Fuckers" gets your Adrenalin boiling. And the light design to the beats is instinctual. A moment when the lights go off and a drum strike and the lights kick back. Agent Provocateur is an educational piece, it pushes you to a new experience of knowledge; like David Hume's questioning of the cause and effect relationship. After watching the piece, you need to go home and read the references!

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