Review: Dancing On Glass [AEIF]

Posted on May 20th, 2010 by Arvind in Reviews, AEIF

Dancing On Glass If you have ever come across the expression "work is killing me" and wondered what that really means, then Ram Ganesh Kamatham’s Dancing On Glass is a good start towards finding some answers.

The plot consists of 3 principal characters; one of who never materializes on stage and remains a mere voice-over. Driving home after 48 hours of incessant work results in the premature death of this unseen person named Pradeep. That leaves us with his room-mate: Shankar, and his (Pradeep’s) girlfriend: Megha.

One can vaguely conclude that Pradeep and Megha were colleagues working at a call centre. Shankar is portrayed as their professional cousin working in the software development sector. What connects them all is the utter lack of rhythm or control over their time and how their jobs seems to distort it to great lengths. And it goes without saying that none of them are remotely happy with their jobs.

Megha tries to convince herself that she is too practical to bereave her beau and carry on with her life as though the entire chapter in her life never happened. Shankar ends up discovering the subconscious liking he always had for Megha has now begun surfacing and he seems to involuntarily do things that will draw him closer to her. As the story progresses, we find the two characters in a zone where they are getting close to each other, literally jobless by some turn of events and seriously wondering where there life is headed to.

The dialogues contain a liberal dose of profanity and all the promotional materials contain warnings to that effect. While much of it seems natural when the characters are venting out their torrid emotions, there surely are situations where it seems out of place. The stage setting is rather unique: it is divided into many zones with markings on the floor. There is the office zone, the rooms of the two people & the public place. Despite having just 2 actors, there are scenes wherein both of them are cueing a monologue at the same time but from different zones on the stage. The lighting is put to great use with usage of magenta, green & blue in ways that seems quite appropriate. The fact that this play has been running for at least 5 years should be a testament to its quality.

Surprisingly, the two actors Abhishek Majumdar and Meghana Mundkur seem to have been the ones on stage through the years. Personally I found Abhishek’s drunken soliloquies to be exceptionally authentic. Likewise, Meghana does a convincing job of playing a neurotic person.

If you are looking for something satirical and can digest expletives, then this should be a play that you go see the next time it runs in your neighbourhood.

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Article by Arvind

Arvind hails from Bangalore and enjoys performing arts.

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4 Comments to “Review: Dancing On Glass [AEIF]”

  1. Thank you for the well-written review, Arvind.

    So many of us have not just come across the expression “work is killing me” but have lived through it. Perhaps this play will remind us that we must slow down.

    You have a point there about profanity being out of place in some situations, but I know of people in real life who speak that way. Every third word that escapes their vocal chords is a swear word, no matter what the ambience or occasion. It amazes me, but it takes all sorts to make the world!

    May 22nd, 2010 12:24 am

  2. Now that i’m here.. i might as well look through the entire site.. WRT dancing on glass…. abhishek and meghna are NOT the original cast.. the play has seen three different sets of actors of which abhishek and meghna are the last. It was earlier performed by Karthik Iyer followed by Ashwin Mathew and lastly by abhishek. The female lead used to be Malavika before meghna .. 🙂

    May 31st, 2010 5:44 pm

  3. Nimi, you are right indeed. After digging around a bit more, I see a mention of a different cast in 2006 here:

    Thanks for the correction. It is personally a bit embarrassing since I follow Nishant’s blog 🙂

    June 2nd, 2010 10:46 pm

  4. The play is overrated to be honest. The other play by Kamatham(about globalization directed by the younger Padamsee, I forget the name) is 100 times better. I am tired of people stereotyping SW engineers as overworked and stressed up all the time. If you are a good enough engineer, you can work for 8 hrs a day for 5 days a week and still perform well enough to get decent increments and promotions. I find a lot of people doing the same including me. Overqualified and underpaid! What does that mean? This is a free market, for gods’ sake. Quit the company and get another job. Stop being a cry bay. The playwright doesn’t know enough of people in Engg industry.

    October 24th, 2010 8:08 am

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