This year on 4th of October, Humsafar Trust will present Sandip Soparrkar’s very ambitious Dance Drama entitled “Hyacinth”. Hyacinth a hero from the Greek mythology was loved by both the Greek Gods Apollo and Zephyrus. And Sandip Soparrkar along with his team intends on bringing forth this very love story to the forefront. [You can pre-book your priority seating tickets with a donation of 500 or more. You will get the best view of the show! Prebook tickets NOW!]
Team Gaysi catches up with the folks behind this hatke initiative!
Project Manager : Pallav
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Sonal and I are a part of the Humsafar Trust, it is the country’s oldest registered LGBT organization. We are based in Mumbai and our main areas of work are Health, Advocacy, Capacity Building and Research. Hyacinth forms a part of our advocacy initiative, where we sensitize the Indian community around issues of sex, gender, and sexuality. We have a Drop-In-Center in Mumbai and we also operate on projects across 5 states in India, we support a youth group called Yaariyan, a Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans group called Umang and also people Living with HIV support group called Sanjeevani. We also host a Volunteer program called Saathiya.
Q. Why Hyacinth?
As a part of our advocacy initiative we generate content to sensitize society on LGBT issues. We have produced movies, plays and even documentaries on these issues of health and sexuality. However, we did not have any content on Love. Hyacinth fills that void by performing a dance drama around same sex love. It speaks about the universality of love by depicting a mythological Greek story on the same sex love subject. The production of Hyacinth has also given an opportunity to tap into the hidden dance talent in the LGBT community and give it the experience of Sandip Soparrkar’s team’s training. This way Hyacinth serves the purpose of being a community oriented effort that brings out the various aspects of love.
Q. It’s a mind-set that activism means protest marches or any grass-root level initiatives, do you think Artistic efforts such Hyacinth help in changing our society?
Yes they do, we can’t always be angry and always be protesting. The LGBT community also has the aspect of humour, beauty, and sensitivity. There is no reason why these cannot be a part of grass root level initiatives. There is more than one-way to bring about change in the world, and every time it need not be a protest. It would be essential to rely on the skill sets that are present in the LGBT community as well. We need to utilize all forms of expression to communicate about discrimination and address it effectively. Hyacinth aims to create that dialogue.
Q. What according to you is most exciting about Hyacinth?
The most exciting part is that Sandip has agreed to direct and choreograph it. The next best part is the main lead of Apollo, Zephyrus and Hyacinth. We will have some really good looking and beautiful men out there performing a dance drama. And the next is the community dancers in the background. They have been carefully selected after auditions and I am looking forward to their performance. Sandip’s team of Ankita and Ashu have also been training the dancers and we are looking forward to a dazzling performance soon.
Director and Choreographer : Sandip Soparrkar
Q. You are a known name in the Indian dancing fraternity, was there ever any apprehension in being associated with a project talking about Homosexuality?
I am a dancer, a choreographer and a teacher and I have always believed that as an artist we have social responsibilities… It is we artist who educate the people regarding the various issues through our art of dance … So how can I ever have any apprehension… All my musicals are based on world mythology … and LGBT cause is a very important cause in today’s times .. and their acceptability in the society is extremely important… Hyacinth and Apollo’s love story from the Greek myth is a wonderful story that talks about the LGBT cause and the motto of Humsafar Trust is to educate the people that gay and lesbian is not a modern phenomenon… this wonderful story brings to light that gays have been even a part of mythology..
Q. What has been the hardest part in putting up Hyacinth?
The hardest part of putting Hyacinth was to create the love dance between Hyacinth and Apollo.. It’s the main part of the story where Apollo and Hyacinth make love and seeing them making love Zephyr the west wind feels jealous and kills Hyacinth … That sex love dance and the scene where they both talk while they make love was most difficult for me to set. I wanted to show the lovemaking and at the same time not make it look vulgar … I am very happy that both my actors had full faith in me and allowed me to experiment with them.
Q. Why should people come to watch Hyacinth?
People should come to see the play because its a beautiful love story with a wonderful message. Apart from LGBT angle, it talks about how love can change people’s lives and most importantly tells us how the hyacinths became one of the symbols of love and how with love we can conquer ego, anger and hatred.