The performance was led by Indian creative expressions artist, Aarti Saikia.
By Natasha Sethi
In commemoration of the 117th anniversary of the prestigious institution, The Siam Society Under Royal Patronage, in collaboration with the Embassy of India in Thailand presented its first-ever performance of contemporary poetry in motion by Aarti Saikia.
On Wednesday evening, Masala attended the ‘Flames of Aarti‘ event, sponsored by Indorama, the Indian Association of Thailand, the Thai Sindhi Association, and Masala. It was an evening of exquisite dance, elegiac poetry, and zestful music.
Canapés and beverages were offered prior to the performance, ensued by compendious speeches made by the president of The Siam Society Mrs Bilaibhan Sampatsiri, and the Ambassador of India to Thailand H.E. Suchitra Durai.
The performance then commenced with the multi-faceted Indian artist Aarti dancing the Apsara. During this first act, Aarti reminded me of fire, as if she were the human embodiment of a flame. With the spotlight on her, the audience was fixated on her lyrical movements. Then entered a musical trio performed by Tiger Drum Thailand which consisted of heterogeneous world instruments including the djembe, didgeridoo, and kora.
Love – The legacy that she leaves behind and The Uncomfortable Soul were amongst the spoken word poetry pieces that were enacted by Aarti. Like the rest of the audience, I was engrossed in her evocative poetry. Phrases that stood out to me were “a life that will sentence her to death” and “who heard you when you said nothing.”
The latter half of the performance took a different turn of events. Rather than a flame, she was now a blaze. The exuberance of her movements increased and was enhanced by the musicians performing to and complementing the sanguine Bollywood song “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar.” The classic gyrate was revered by all.
To put it simply, it was an hour of pure creative expression.
An appreciation speech put an end to the night where Aarti mentioned that she aims to “build a platform for sustainable and innovative arts in a creative setting.”
The artistic curator described her experience of performing to Masala as “a beautiful feeling of creating a magical artistic experience” and chronicles her poetry as “born in the arms of imagination, it is a dance between words.”