Every artist has a journey. A journey of an endless search. A journey that is filled with ups and downs, acceptance and rejection, pain and satisfaction. The play “Tansen” explores this journey through the life of legendary Tansen. What was it that made him the great Tansen and what was his search till the end of his life?
The play begins with a dilemma about “Ibadat” and “Ishq”. What is worship and what is love? Is love the search of a destination or is it losing your own self in that search? Are worship and love the two sides of the same coin? Every artist comes across these questions at some point in his or her life, when he thinks whether his love for the art is enough or is it necessary to lose himself in the worship of art. A point comes when he can’t decide whether he has achieved what he wanted or he should continue the search. And when he feels that he has achieved what he wanted, can he grow further? Also, can an artist feel liberated when he expects something in return from his search?
The play “Tansen” explores these basic questions of every artist. The intention is to talk about the dilemmas of an artist and explore along with the audience, the factors that make an artist feel liberated and also what makes him feel caught in his own emotions, expectations, and pride. “Tansen” is not only a documentation of Tansen’s life but also a parallel search of an artist that is never-ending.
The performance aspect of the play includes a wide range of theatrical devices. It consists of the three major elements of performing arts namely music, dance, and drama which are blend together to say the story. The play also focuses on the journey of Hindustani classical music from its origin where it was performed in the form of “Dhrupad” till today’s “Khayal Gaayaki”. Therefore, it includes live music ranging from Dhrupad, Qawwali, Hori to Khayal Gaayaki along with live instruments namely Sitar, Sur Bahar, Tabla, Pakhawaj, Harmonium, and Tanpura that give a different flavour to the play.