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Get close again in the time of COVID-19

Get close again in the time of COVID-19

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  1 April 2020 6:04 AM GMT

Finally got over the excitement of working from home, binge watching even mediocre series on OTT platforms? Is playing chef and cleaning the house getting on the nerves now? Well, its time to reconnect with things that make you feel alive — again.

From online concerts, theatre festivals, museum tours, Dastangoi, book recommendations and fitness classes, social media surely seems to have come to the rescue in these times of solitary confinement.

Asmita theatre group, which is organising the world’s first (China organised an online opera recently) online theatre festival titled ‘Quarantine Theatre Festival’ which started on March 21, streaming for free some of its best-known plays, including ‘Hanush’, ‘Final Solutions’ and ‘Jis Lahore Nai Dekhya O Jamyai Nai’ among others via premium screening on Facebook, in a way gave a cue to many other artists to follow suit.

“In times when people are talking about social distancing, we insist that what is needed is just physical distancing. Let’s keep the social connections alive. This has been a great experiment for us, getting us lakhs of views. Not only are people getting to watch some pathbreaking plays, but for many first-timers this is their maiden exposure to this art form. I am sure this will result in more footfalls in auditoriums once the lockdown is a thing of the past. Let’s just say that we needed to do this as at this time — people could not come to the auditorium, so theatre decided to go to them,” he said.

Musician Susmit Sen, co-founder of the band Indian Ocean, who later started The Susmit Sen Chronicles, and was seen on the Facebook concert ‘The Inside Session’ organised by The Big Band Theory on March 29, laughs that despite the fact he is not really technology-savvy, he enjoyed it every bit.

“We were operating from our homes, and I had to be guided continuously. But that didn’t come in-between the excellent response.” Stressing that in such times, art provides the much needed respite, he adds, “Connections assume significant importance during gloom. Music definitely does more than just lift spirits up.”

Stressing that as an artist, she misses the rush of being on stage, singer Jasleen Aulakh, who also performed during ‘The Inside Session’, says that the live streaming from the safety of her home provided the much needed connect with her listeners again.

“Honestly, the experience proved to be a great way to stay sane. No wonder, I have signed up for another live session on April 13,” says the artiste, who wants to continue doing such sessions even after the lockdown is over.

“I really feel sad for students of music who need to consult their teachers often, but are unable to do so due to the lockdown. I may start some interactive sessions for them on different social media platforms soon,” says Indian classical vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty.

Stating that the “mental lockdown” is more telling than the physical one, she is all for live sessions being held by singers on social media platforms. “One definitely gets a sense of reassurance that comes from familiarity. Of course, the effect may not be that of a concert, but then look at the circumstances...” Chakraborty says that most musicians were looking forward to their tours in the coming two months, so one can understand the sense of disappointment. (IANS)

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