1. What is Junoon all about?
Junoon is all about making theatre and the related arts accessible, so they can become a regular part of our lives, and inject their magic and delight and wonderful madness into our everyday existence.
We live in a country where there is little or no infrastructure or trained human resources to work with and present the arts – we have lots of wonderful artists, but few enabling support systems. So Junoon then is about figuring out how we can bring the experience of the live arts to you in different ways, so that we can continuously share the wonder and creativity and magic, and afford to do it together!
So Junoon is also a belief, an experiment, and just a mad passion to try and bring the arts into our lives, powerfully and joyfully. We are driven by the belief that there are many like-minded people out there who will happily join us to try and make this happen. Are you one of them? You might be … just look a little deeper if you can’t see it immediately 😉
2. Tell us about the Junoon experience
The Junoon experience is about creativity, learning, engaging with multiple art forms, diving deep into the live performance world, and having loads of fun while doing it. We love that the performing arts are entertaining, but are not happy to stop with them as merely entertainment. That’s a bit easy. We want to share with everyone the full richness of creativity and magic that happens in the arts – what are the building blocks, the expressive possibilities, how does this art think and work, how does that one differ, how does play and experiment happen in the arts? And the way we do this is experiential. We either immerse you in fabulous performances of very different kinds. Or we take you through hands-on experiences in various arts – so that you get to experience firsthand how you can unleash your own imagination and creativity through different arts mediums.
So the Junoon experience is always in-depth. We will never skim the surface of things. If we show you a performance, you can be sure it’s something that will delight and surprise and give you ‘wow’ moments. You will be transported, and you will leave feeling you are carrying something precious within you, that is yours forever.
If we take you through a workshop, it will be under the guidance of an experienced artist and facilitator. The workshop will never be a few hours of time-pass fun. It will be a good 15 to 20 hours (a little less for young children) of rigorous and joyful engagement with a particular arts process. It will touch you deeply, unlock areas of creativity and imagination that you may not have known existed, and free you to come closer to yourself and your own possibilities.
Through all this, the Junoon experience will be warm and fundamentally joyful. It will celebrate possibilities and all that is best in the human spirit. It will leave you feeling wonderfully alive.
3. Why is it so important for us to have a hobby in performing arts?
We all need to breathe. We need to have a space that is our own. We need to feel deeply and passionately about something without any care for some material gain from it. When all this happens, that’s when we feel really and truly alive – and it’s an exhilarating experience. A hobby in the performing arts give you all this. It helps you find that place where you are truly, beautifully, you … and the truth is that once you touch that space, a lot of things in life just fall into place. A different perspective happens, that is enabling and strengthening. Its like you have your own precious haven to go to.
This is what happens when you immerse yourself in the arts – when you give yourself up to it. As a hobby or as a profession … if you do this, you actually live the ‘good life’. There is A Manifesto for the Arts doing a round of the internet, which puts it beautifully:
“Arts epitomizes the irrepressible human need for the immaterial things that matter; love, friendship, home, family, ideals and the pursuit of knowledge and goodness.
Culture, of which the arts are the highest expression, is but a collective means of making meaning, of telling stories, of imagining and believe what is real, who we are, what we are doing here and why. Our culture reflects us; how we see the world and how the world sees us.”
A hobby in the performing arts fulfills that irrepressible human need. When it coexists with an exposure to excellence in the arts – which is what Junoon strives to bring to you – then you have the environment within which you can truly explore all dimensions of the art that you love.
4. What are the future plans of Junoon?
The very immediate future has Arts at Play-Summertime coming up – from 1 May to 8 June. Our annual programme of creative workshops for ages 6 to 16. This year we have a wonderful array of 32 workshops across theatre, dance, movement, clay, puppetry, juggling, writing and poetry. Registration is underway at the moment – and if you’ve got children, you really don’t want them to miss this.
Come July, we will begin our School Programme. We are already in conversations with schools, and are looking forward to slowly but surely bring the live arts into the annual calendar of students across India. This programme includes shows, interactive performances, and workshops for teachers and parents as well as artist interactions with students.
In September, we will launch our public programme of arts interactions in neighbourhoods across Mumbai. We’ve tied up with venues across town that are happy to be host to regular monthly programmes that bring you closer the world of creativity, where you will meet artistes from different fields as they share the delight, joy and passion of their world.
Our ongoing Corporate Programme offers corporates our unique Workshops and Creative Labs – both immersive experiences that impact reflection and learning through the performing arts.
We also offer Arts Camps as a way to build mutual understanding and respect amongst children from different backgrounds. This is a sponsored activity, and we had our first such camp sponsored by ICICI Bank in February – a mad, wonderful day of complete immersion in the arts. If you have a few moments more, take a look at these pics on our FB page.
Ideas keep buzzing in and out of our brains … we list them and hold on to them, and when the time is right, we will launch them. We invite you to join us on this journey – attend our activities, spread the word, volunteer when the need arises, sponsor less privileged children to attend our workshops, and more.
Here’s to a joyful, creative journey together!