Oorali is a contemporary conversational band dealing with folk-reggae genre mostly known for their political themes and songs. Oorali is the voice of changing times, culture, destruction of environment, attacks on human rights and also is a melodious voice that makes you dance uninhibitedly in the concert. The band brings together a blend of actors , musicians, writers and visual artistes to create unique experiences.
Oorali Art is born out of interactions with the society and a dire urge to express . An Oorali performance is a spectacle a creative mix of music, theatre, visuals, art, poetry and song . They sing in Spanish, Malayalam and English. Their performances are conversations with their audiences and their songs are stories that speak about, and to, the realities of the world.
Sadhana CFCP is an independant creative collective comprising of actors, musicians and visual artistes based out of Thrissur, Kerala. The initiative founded by Martin John C has been active since 2010. Sadhana CFCP has been conducting performances and workshops in association with Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy, educational institutions, festivals and similar groups. It has also collaborated with artistes from Chile, Argentina, Finland and Germany making possible many contemporary performances in the domain of theatre.
When Martin and Saji met music connected them instantly and the seeds of Oorali that they had collected over their lives began to germinate. It set in motion a series of events connecting innumerable persons and has now come to this stand point where Oorali Experience has become a significant force in the Indian art Diaspora. Combining elements from theatre, roots music and visual arts they have managed to transcend genres and is evolving into a unique performance ensemble.Oorali music and conversations is a readily adaptable performance which changes its tones and conversations with changing audience.The stories which speak about the realities of world interspersed with songs is where oorali finds its spirit.
What does Oorali mean? Oorali is at the same time a centuries old myth and a much needed contemporary art intervention. Oorali is a spirit that stems from our ancient hunting gathering past and which has been stretched into irrelevancy by tradition. Oorali has been the whistle blower in the folk tradition called padeni and these artists are blowing their life force into it to reinvent that spirit. Oorali has been finding forms of expression through generations to speak up. Here Oorali is using art to ignite a sense of irony and self critique. Oorali cannot stop asking how much is too much. What do you really need and how is it different from what you want? Who are you and where do you come from? Is there an absolute truth or is it all relative?
When people dance, when a play touches us deeply, when a song brings tears to our eyes, when a writer moves us profoundly we are all transcending barriers. Oorali wishes to share that joy, the little things that liberates us.Oorali’s rhythm section belongs to the world. The cajon and wombo drum thumps out the essence of Latin America and the Djembe reso- nates with the vibrations of Africa. The hi hat and the cymbals chimes with the logic of the west and the darbouka rings out the winds of the Mediterranean deserts. A Spanish guitar and bass belts out the melodies to back up the vocals in Spanish, Malayalam and English. All Ooralies sing as much as they can and sometimes there are actors to enact what cannot be said or sung.
For them music is the language of the world and art is the script. Martin’s life as an
actor and performer was mostly spent in Latin America and for every Malayalee it
is more closer than the US of A. For Keralites there is an unspoken bonding with
Argentina, Brazil and Chile which goes back to their love for football, Che Guerra
and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. They read Neruda as voraciously as Kadammanitta
and the similarities in the landscapes, both political and geographical are
For Saji music was the hope that had kept his nerve during his struggle to survive 7 years of corporate life. When he left the loop it was all those blues and reggae that he had soaked up during the years that gave him the impetus to become an independent musician.
IT was in the 3 rd edition of International Theatre festival of Kerala(ITFOK) in 2013 a
bus was used for the first time in an Indo- Latin collaboration, Las Indias, as a
performing space. Marin was a coordinator and actor in this production of which Elias
Cohen was the director. This inspired Martin to procure a bus to conceive a different
kind of a performance space. It was reengineered into a bus that could open up on one
side and behind to become a performing area and be viewed from inside and outside.
From 2014 it has been going places as Oorali Express.
The effort of many artistes and support from some good hearts made it possible to convert an abandoned transport bus into a mobile performing space that can cater to performances, workshops and exhibitions.
There might be similar endeavours around the world, but as far as India is concerned this is absolutely a new concept which can transcend boundaries of religion, region and language and share art with all humans.
Sadhana House, Manakody PO, Thrissur, Kerala, 680012
Saji +9645789205, Martin +9544010273