Sakiye Rowthiram Pazhagu is a dance drama produced by Wake Up Creations, a UK-based NGO founded by Jay Thattai. This one-hour dance performance, presented in the form of classical Bharathnatyam, was first performed in January this year and has been structured around the importance of self-defence for women.
With a generous sprinkling of Bharathiyar poems and a balanced mix of elements from today, the dance drama has been presented for easy understanding. The drama follows a young woman who learns self-defence after having undergone a personal tragedy.
Speaking to TNM, Jay shares that the idea is more relevant now than ever. âWeâve been witnessing a number of brutal rape crimes in our country and most of it becomes just another headline. I asked myself âCan I do something about it?â Coincidentally, we saw a Bharathiyar play and this inspired us to come up with a theme-based dance drama,â shares Jay.
Talking about the playâs main theme, Jay says the idea was to promote self-defence among young women. âWe wanted to define ârowthiramâ (anger) that was used in Bharathiyarâs poetry - Rowthiram Pazhagu. The anger has to be for the right reasons. The point of self-defence is about protecting oneself from an unfortunate incident. We want to perform this in more schools to raise awareness,â he adds.
Jay also believes that it has been a revolution of sorts when sabhas came forward to stage their dance-drama. âWitnessing a performance structured around rape and self-defence is not common in these places. In that sense, RR Sabha, where we staged it for the first time and where we will be staging it for the New Year, have been very supportive,â he shares.
Wake Up Creations is partnering with Krav Maga instructors across the globe to teach self-defence to women. âThis also helps create part-time employment for those interested to become instructors,â he adds.
As a next step, Jay shares that Wake Up Creations has plans to work on topics like natural birthing, entrepreneurship for the underprivileged, spending time with spouse, etc.
The dance drama that has been performed at Blackbox Studio, Urur Olcott Kuppam, Bharathi Thiruvizha at Kalaivanar Arangam and Chennayil Thiruvaiyaru at Kamarajar Arangam will be staged at RR Sabha once again on January 1, 2019. This performance that has been scheduled for 4.30pm will be accompanied by a live demonstration of Krav Maga, Kalari and Yoga. For more details, please call 9789887298.