Dhvani: Conversations and Performances on Women, Writing & Freedom began with the staging of Babugiri by Ninasam on the evening of 1 November 2014. Babugiri is a rare theatrical experiment of storytelling. Two stories by Rabindranath Tagore, ‘Babus of Nayanjore’ and ‘My Lord, The Baby,’ were presented in this production. The play was in Kannada and it used Tagore’s stories in Kannada translation by Ahobala Shankara. These stories opened up a very interesting possibility of talking about freedom and identity, and questions like how the identity is created, can identity be created artificially and what role does memory play in the construction of one’s identity.
With minimal stage properties and body movements the actors ‘recited’ the entire story. The play made use of very little ‘aharya’ (costumes/properties) and ‘angika’ (body) but it depended mostly on ‘vacika’ (speech) and ‘satvika’ (essence of acting). It seemed like the production was aimed more at re-visiting the text in all its richness as a literary text without visualizing it in detail.
Ninasam, a well-known theatre group from Heggodu, Karnataka staged this play. K.V. Akshara conceptualized and directed this performance. Vidya Hegde, Ganesh M, Manju Kodagu and Avinash Rai were the actors on stage.