"I WILL SAVE MY LAND!"
Mati is a young girl who wants her very own land. "I Will Save My Land!" reveals the battle between land ownership, women's inheritance and the greed of larger corporations to exploit their lands for mining.
This performance is based on the book I Will Save My Land by Rinchin, illustrated by Sagar Kolwankar, and published by Tulika. It has been adapted with original music and illustration for The Red Curtain Project.
Preeti Introduces the Story
In the video below, Preeti Vasudevan (Artistic Director of Thresh, the company behind the Red Curtain Project) provides a short introduction to the story, and its relevance to today's world.
Thresh and the Red Curtain Project is proud to partner with Tulika, an independent, multilingual publisher of children's books that pioneered a fresh wave in Indian publishing when it was founded in 1996 (winner of the 2019 London Book Fair Award for Excellence in Literary Translation Initiative).
THE STORYTELLER'S TOOLKIT
In the video above you see Preeti use a mixed bag of facial expressions and hand gestures ("mudras").
Now let's break this down: you'll find a series of short video clips below, in which Preeti demonstrates each gesture and the facial expressions she's chosen to use.
For each one, she includes the name in Sanskrit (the classical language of India) and some further examples and applications.
"Mudras" (hand gestures) & body positions
First we'll look at hand gestures and body positions.
Every culture uses its hands for expression. Preeti grew up learning Indian classical dance (bharatanatyam) in South India where gestures are classified in minute detail. Each gesture has specific meanings and applications. And lower body positions are...
Be sure to scroll / swipe through all the videos (there are three in total).
Facial expressions & Emotion
In Indian dance and theatre, the face is a key tool for communicating emotion—Indian dancers and actors train for years to perfect their control of their facial muscles!
There are many techniques to isolate the movements of the face, which are classified as "bheda" (BAY-dah). Indian classical performer uses these in combination to create an emotional mood under what is called "saatvika abhinaya" (SAAT-vika ab-in-EYE-a).
In particular, watch these short demo videos to see how Preeti manipulates different aspects of facial expression (eyes, lips, eyebrows etc.) to create the emotional effect.
COMMENTARY & ANALYSIS
Preeti breaks down the performance
There's a lot going on in Indian classical dance, even in a short sequence such as this. In the two videos below Preeti talks you through how she's using the classical gestural vocabulary to tell the story.
QUIZ & ACTIVITIES:
Think you're an expert? Try this quiz!
THE RED CURTAIN DRAWING CHALLENGE
This week we'd love you to create a drawing inspired by Mati in the book I Will Save My Land. Mati was excited to grow many things in her little field that her grandmother gifted her.
If you had your own field, what would you grow? Show us a drawing of how your land will look and what things you might want to grow in them. Your drawings and ideas will help make others imagine and create a fantastical world! Send your drawings to us at email@example.com. We'll publish as many as we can on this site! (And you can see some great drawings we've received so far from kids around the world by clicking here!)
LAND RIGHTS IN INDIA
Swipe or scroll through these images relating to the issues of local villages and farmers with larger corporations depriving them of their land rights for coal mining purposes.
Like Mati and her grandmother, many villagers find themselves uprooted from their lands losing their joy of life and livelihoods through farming.
MEET OUR GLOBAL COLLABORATORS...
New York, USA
I'm a composer and teacher who likes to write music for opera and theater. My dad is from Andhra Pradesh in Southern India, so I'm always looking for ways to combine Indian and European classical music.
I've been thrilled to write two children's operas that do this: The Jungle Book, written for the Glimmerglass Festival, and Monkey and Francine in the City Tigers, written for Houston Grand Opera. I also have a band called Bombay Rickey. We love it when people come to our shows and dance, so I hope we'll see you at one soon!
To read more about Kamala's work and her many accolades, visit www.kamalasankaram.com.
We also asked Kamala to share with us her inspiration for her music composition. Click the button below to see a short video.
New York, USA
Shreya Mehta is an award-winning visual artist who confronts questions of identity and spirituality in her vibrant and eclectic practice.
Shreya was born in India and raised in Antwerp, Belgium, where she attended the Royal Academy of Art as its first woman of Indian origin. After graduating with the prestigious V.R.I.K.A Award, she eventually settled in New York, where she continues her practice. Mehta’s work has a global presence and has been exhibited at galleries and fairs in New York, Dubai, and Mumbai. Her paintings can also be found in several prestigious private collections, such as that of the Prime Minister of India. See more of Shreya's work at her website www.artshreya.com
We also asked Shreya to share with us her inspiration for her artwork. Click the button below to see a short video.
We loved collaborating with online learning experts Learn Interactive on this project.
If you're an artist or an arts organization looking to create online learning content in these challenging times, contact Learn Interactive who'll be delighted to discuss your project!