Category Archives: Audience responses

Even the sky is not a limit…

As told by Aruna Manjunath:

‘Koogu’ and I have been a part of each other right from the rehearsal stages. I don’t really recollect my first reaction to it as I was more interested in photographing the work. It is only eventually I learnt that I need to be a part of the performance to be able to document it better. A realization that has helped me improve my work but I’m still learning.

It is only very recently, after over 50 shows of Koogu, that in a workshop led by Anish on the making of Koogu, that something opened up for me. He took people attending the workshop through a process of movement and then text. Though I’ve been through this process in one of his earlier workshops, at that point I had been more concentrated on getting something right-  without really understanding what that ‘something’ was!

In the recent workshop, however – I was an observer and realized how I can most effectively use the Koogu- making process is in the work that I do. So far, I had been stuck in my work as a visual artist, wanting to create works but not knowing where to start. I now wish to apply the same process in the making of my works. And I have already started on that! Below is some jewellery I created following the way of Koogu…see for yourself:





Aruna Manjunath is a visual artist and jewellery designer. She can be contacted at











This section features responses (gracious and ungracious, frank and subtle) of members who have witnessed/participated in the performance.

I invite your thoughts and feelings, regardless of the content and tone. Quite simply, it will help the performance improve.


When you speak to the audience it’s very powerful. All the little interactions that you do with us are very interesting and I think it definitely adds something to the experience when you start moving you go into your own world. It’s as if you talk about something/share something with us and then you look for it within and are on a journey within.

At times I felt that it would be more powerful if you don’t talk to us about the real concerns but veil it with something else.

Vinod Ravindran


Your performance reminded me of the pressures of modern day living. A desire for acquiring is created and yet one cannot achieve it. This leads to a frustration, which consumes us.

Geetha Venkatesh

I feel that as a person who is stepping into the deep well of ‘solo work’, it is very important for you to weed out all the impetuses that are loaded with your wants. And to do this, you must create a space which is unsafe for you to perform in.

Arjun Shankar

The emotional journey portrayed in Koogu felt like your own personal journey and as an actor/performer, that’s a wonderful achievement, I think.

Vivek Poddar

As the performance began, i was searching for the meaning of Koogu (a call) through the different stories that you narrated of your childhood and find parallels to my life or find metaphor for the word Koogu. But i also forgot that in between, as there were some beautiful moments in the performance which allowed us to be a part of your journey – the stories of your childhood, running for the Olympics selection and also the poetry which started out funny but ended on a dark note.

The thing that remained unclear to me or rather left me puzzled were the movement bits. The whole act of falling down to break the rhythm and transit to another memory , the involuntary movement of your left hand in the piece which you begin with ‘bhenchod’ and the piece where you move around the space trying to balance your body. The movement is interestingly choreographed but it does not intertwine with the rest of the performance piece or are they supposed to be two different entities (or) characters? Because i don’t see it as a dance piece but rather a stylized movement piece which can powerfully evoke abstract meanings or feelings of oppression, helplessness and joy.

Chanakya Vyas


The piece is not a performance. 

It is indefinable, and should not fall in the gamut of traditional performance. 

I would refrain from that word.

It’s closer to an experience… sensory experiences.

 Ekta Mittal


The performance is an invitation to perceive and interpret the way one feels, hears, sees and understands.

Francoise Bosteels

Small thoughts and I am not a person with much insight, so the comments fit in 🙂
– Maybe your performance had a thread linking it all through but it was not apparent to me. I don’t know if that was your intent. But that is one thing I would have liked to understand.
– I love the fluidity of your movements and the flow
– I like the way you switch between performer and Anish talking to the audience. I know the protagonist is also Anish in most ways and yet representing something larger than just him. At some points I felt that you could have been more effective had you stayed in performer role than break out of it. But that is something you have designed for a purpose, so I don’t know if I could say anything there.

Ian Castelino

I really enjoyed the show of Koogu on 27th December. I was really waiting to watch it, because of Anish’s long standing occupation on “points of departures”. I wanted to be surprised. And it was a departure in so many ways.

The performance provokes and talks about uncomfortable things, but for me, you finally accept and love yourself. There is no other way to live, is there? For me this was the essential departure. It’s such a wonderful presentation that has been shaped by your life experiences, theatre and spiritual processes, which makes it so honest, transparent and yet so easy. It was moving, and very inspiring. Thank you.

Sachin Gurjale