Black Hole is made up of three elements – a woman, a white sheet and the idea of the cosmos, "says stage actor and director Jyoti Dogra, before performing her new piece at the Chandigarh Literature Festival, which will also travel to Pune.
Black Hole is a solo piece written, directed and performed by Dogra. She spent nearly three and a half years researching and developing the piece between Mumbai, Delhi and Switzerland.
The piece examines ideas of theoretical physics from the perspective of an ordinary human being who seeks to find a greater exploration of the universe and the self.
While concepts from astrophysics intertwine with personal narratives about love, loss, mortality, boundaries of experience, and the bodies in which we live, the play examines our thirst for knowledge, our thirst for experience, and how they connect to ours To create understanding of the cosmos.
Singularity, says Dogra, central to a black hole and central to our selfhood, is an ongoing theme throughout the piece.
While these laws are simply explained and preserve their scientific sanctity, these ideas ultimately become metaphors and sometimes lenses, through which we re-examine ourselves and our state of grief and loss. A sense of boredom that starts to haunt you as you grow old, with time advancing in marital relationships, and the pathos and joys of the human condition in general, says Dogra.
In terms of design elements, the piece uses light, projection mapping, and sound. "There are no sets or props in the piece, except for a single white sheet," says the director. In terms of the performance language, she moves between the real and the everyday, the scientific and the dreamlike – with images, sounds and texts that form a web of space and time that explores the outer cosmos and the inner cosmos.
"We also played in institutes and universities across India and for an intimate audience of 30 to 40 people in a small room, and I hope we can reach a larger audience," adds Dogra.