BWW Review: FOURPLAY, A RECENTLY CONCLUDED PERFORMANCE Mocked Non-acceptance Towards Same-sex Marriage
Hyderabad has witnessed one of its first interactive the performance called "Fourplay" on 29th of September evening at Its much-celebrated open space cultural centre Lamakaan. The presentation was an interactive performance art curated and presented by Expressionist dancer and performance artist Patruni Chidananda Sastry and Theater Artist Sajiv Palasa. "Four Play" as the name suggests it a bold, thought-provoking performance act for involving awareness of sexual education, body and sexual desire and a sharp outcry of non-recognition of same-sex marriages. The performers called themselves as Exhibits. Exhibit one (Patruni Sastry) was dressed in Drag without any makeup and outpoured masculinity to bring in a sharp fluidity of both feminine, masculine and transvestite representation, representing feminine in a marriage setup. Exhibit two (Sajiv Palasa) was more being himself, poured masculinity and without a gender-bend. They were to play four games, games of lust, ego, greed and anger.
The performance started when both the exhibits were standing into inverted tiers (showing partnership of marriage as two tires of a vehicle) they started shouting "I am superior" in turns. And slowly moved towards a white drawing board where they marked it as Game 1. Game 1 is a fluxes representation of traditional games played by the couple in a south Indian family called Okhli with a twist. Both the exhibit needs to find a Handcuff in a bucket full of beans. first with legs, heads and hands. the person who wins calls superior and the other removed his upper garment proceeding to the next game, a where both would walk on a mat handcuffed together and walk randomly within the interface of the mat and intermittently folding it to half of its length in intervals. While they reached the minimum fold, they had to fight with Pillows (an intimate game played by a couple) and destroy the pillow into cotton. This was as creating a representation of the sacred 7 steps but not limited to just 7. The folding of the mat is a symbolism to showcase who same-sex couples/ straight couples are forced not to exhibit their feelings outside the boundaries of the wall and restrict themselves with confined spaces to avoid moral policing. Sajiv won this game which ended up Sastry into two-piece costume. An intense picture was put in front of the crowd when he stood wearing an inner garment of a woman (resisting the moral policing of what women must wear). Game three proceeded with the couple playing Talambralu (a south Indian marriage ritual) with rainbow colours symbolizing pride. The movements became more scuttle and sensual depicting the importance of touching, eye contact, connectivity within two people and educating the aspects of exploration of sexuality. The fading dynamics of superior vs inferior, dominant versus submissive and masculine vs feminine was depicted in the act of pouring colours one after the other from each other's head. Claiming equality of their sexual instinct and promise to walk along.
The final game "BRAHMA MUDI" representing the Mangala sutra, however, here a long length rope being dangled between the couple showcasing the long fight the same-sex couple must fight for to get marital acceptance in this country. This long rope was wrapped by both the exhibits while they walk towards each other and become one. both were cocooned into the rope and shared a kiss of love to showcase the superiority of love over everything. At this moment, the audience started stepping up with the role of tissue papers and wrapped It around the cocooned couple to showcase the taboo associated with a showcase of affection in public spaces. The tissue which is symbolized for the naturism was used to showcase a strong message on discrimination against same-sex couples, showcase of affection, right to express and become a strong take on moral policing. The performance ended with the artists addressing the crowd. A participant asked "why did you choose these games, was its intent to mock the marriage system " where the Patruni Added, "this was to symbolize the unacceptance of these rituals to same-sex couples by the society and as a strong statement that this is how the same-sex couple visualize these ceremonies where the society closes the door". The background flute music provided by Pawan from the Nations Rock Beat made the audience stick to the performance and enthralled with the idea of activism. The audience asked curios questions and background of the performance for which both the artist responded with thought processes. The event was first of its kind in Hyderabad where participation of the Audience was a maximum. The event ended with Patruni thanking the Lamakaan operations, Mobbera foundation and Manab Das for their contributions in making this a successful event.
Picture credits Manab Das