It was just another January morning in 2011, but for model and dancer Shivani Wazir Pasrich, the bus that was taking her and other artistes via the Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh for a performance (“Artists for Tiger” project by Singinawa Foundation), felt a bit warmer than usual. Maybe it was because she was nervous that she might forget the steps of her Odissi recital. In the end, Pasrich didn’t perform any of the rehearsed lines or steps, but created her own performance, which gave birth to the “I am the Tiger” initiative.
The project, “I am the Tiger” uses dance, music and poetry to tell the story of a tiger, Taqdeer, and his fight for survival against hunters. “‘I am the Tiger’ works towards raising consciousness about environmental concerns. The tiger is used as a metaphor and demonstrates man’s disregard towards the planet’s limited resources,” says Pasrich. The performance that started as a 10-minute skit in 2011, has now grown into a full-fledged 40-minute programme embedded with audio-video elements.
After performing in the jungles of Kanha and Ranthambore, Rajasthan, as well as on platforms like Women of the World Festival in London last year, Pasrich along with artist Anjolie Ela Menon and The Art Alive Foundation, New Delhi, will now bring the “I am the Tiger” art initiative to the Capital. The event will start with a painting exhibition headed by Menon that will feature about 100 works by various schools and colleges like St James school, London; Sanskriti School, New Delhi; Maharaja Jam Saheb School, Warsaw; and Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi, among others, at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Azad Bhavan. It will also include the work of artists like Aparna Caur, Naresh Kapuria, Ashok Hazare and British artists Amrit Singh and Rabindra Singh.
“I was thrilled to see our work translated into a tool in the hands of young dynamic students. There were paintings, poetry and empathy with our national animal, that could be seen in their works,” says Pasrich. “Next year we are planning a ribbon of tiger paintings made by schoolchildren from India Gate to Rashtrapati Bhavan,” adds Menon. The exhibition will be followed by the play I am the Tiger. “It’s a story of a tiger raised in the forest of Sarhi, in Madhya Pradesh, and how he sees his sister and uncle fighting with the hunters and how eventually he ends up being in a zoo,” explains Pasrich.
India is home to over half the world’s tiger population. According to the tiger census report released on 28 March 2011 by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the current tiger population is estimated at 1,706.
The exhibition will start at 6.30pm, while the play will be staged at 7pm on 13 September at Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Azad Bhawan, IP Estate, New Delhi. Click here for details.