The arts have become an addiction for Sanjoy Roy, the managing director of Teamwork Arts, which produces several well-reputed cultural programmes through the year. His latest one is Expressions, an international contemporary dance festival that showcases several modern forms from India and the world, allowing an atmosphere of alliance and association between different cultures.
A composite synthesis of different concepts, the performances capsules titled Studies for C, The Mystical Forest, Walking, Amaara-A Journey of Love, Dhrut and Antatah: The 13th Day, bring a new story alive. “If The Mystical Forest explores life within the forest, Amaara, A Journey of Love is a piece that takes the audience into a world of experiencing the body and the mind as they fuse their way into nothingness,” says Roy, who feels the presentations evoke thought that compels us to enquire further.
In partnership with Ministry of Culture, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, British Council and Pro Helvetia, the event has been organised to not only give different expressions a platform, but to also reiterate that, while classical traditions are important, contemporary ones should also be given an equal footing. “India has moved on. People want to explore different art forms. The plethora of talent is staggering, and with the growing interest in contemporary arts I see, I feel reassured that the future holds pleasant opportunities,” he says.
Roy has seen a lot of things change in his times. Back in the 70s and 80s, when he had joined theatre, few considered it a real career. “Even my father-in-law couldn’t fathom I did theatre as a full-time job. Even though the arts are still a story of struggle, they’ve moved from being something to be embarrassed about to something to boast about,” he says, adding, “Dance has become part of the local idiom. Even the Indian diaspora that was once only interested in learning one or the other form of classical dance or music, is now swiftly opening up to other modern forms.”
So strong is the wave of change that Roy is getting Ernst and Young, an advisory and business consulting firm, to conduct a study on the creative industry. He feels that it positively impacts the economy in a big way, how many jobs it creates, trade practices, infrastructure requirements and other aspects of theatre, dance and art. “The research has been on for a year now and the results will put things in perspective, highlighting the importance of the arts. In May 2016, you should be able to read it for yourself,” he says.