Going to Mandi house for a play is always a good experience or a performance at the Siri fort auditorium that enthralls our senses for that matter. But why can’t performance art be casual, more approachable and have a sense of comfort rather than conform? That’s where Odd Bird theatre comes in. The all new venue at Chhatarpur, 100 ft road is bringing the art scene to this side of town and also changing how we approach performances
It has a casual vibe and is essentially a warehouse converted to a barebones art performance space. With a ton of natural light coming in and mostly warm lights, the place is warm and welcoming. They also have rough wooden finish and feels comfortable to be in. There is a bar on one side, which might not be active as an alcohol serving place as that would need permits etc. But depending on the kind of event you go to, things change around. We attended the Reproduce Listening room session which was an underground scene with hipsters all over the place. But the event was one of the best in terms of immersiveness and sound production and amplification. Also not to mention such experiments in sound are rarely found.
Shambhavi Singh is Odd Bird’s founder, a former marketing professional with a love of arts and performances. She teamed up with Akhil Wable, an engineer, and contemporary danseuse Virkein Dhar, to figure out a new space for arts other than the usual and as most art scenes go mildly pretentious Mandi house area and the theatres that make up for the repertoire in those circles. For her it isn’t only about the artists but also the audience that connects with the art and the artists in a more involving manner. Of course we are all spectators and here to observe the artists but there can always be some way or the other for us to be a part of it all.
A striking feature about odd bird is that the artists set the price for the tickets. It is a community that builds itself and this all the revenue earned goes to the upkeep of the place and artists. This is the only way an art scene can work for long and attract new and unique artists rather than have the same troupe come and person the same thing again and again. Their plan is to have regular events on weekends while there will also be workshops and classes on weekdays. There are renowned artists who come and conduct workshops for the budding. Shambhavi says that there will soon be a monthly calendar out, detailing all the performances of the month for everyone.
They haven’t done a lot of popular shows until now so don’t worry if you haven’t been in the loop and missed out on a few. There is more to come and it’ll only get better with time. Just keep a lookout on their facebook page and also get to know your way there before hand as it can get a bit tricky for the first timer in the lanes of Chhatarpur.
Where- OddBird Theatre and Foundation, Dhan Mill Compound, 100 Feet Road, Chhatarpur.