They are six women, in their thirties, three employed and three housewives. They have been family friends for some time because they all hail from one place in northern Kerala and they meet every weekend, with each taking turns to host her friends at her home. They all now live in the Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh area.
Things for these six women were normal until they did something extraordinary last month. Rolling their sleeves up, they gathered together to perform a nonprofessional dance-drama based on the theme, 'From the Kitchen to the Limelight': tired, bored and stressed-out women dancing joyously, breaking loose from their everyday cares and the norms of social convention. Now they have become a brand in demand.
Biji Ramakrishnan, the chief architect behind the Kitchen Orchestra, as the troupe has been named, said they have been booked for two cultural events organized by two famous expatriate associations in Kuwait. Their free, casual movements in harmony with the loud music at the National Service Society's annual celebration held last month at the Integrated Indian School auditorium astounded the audience.
The men who danced at various fast numbers in the concert performed by a visiting foursome from a popular reality show in that program at first howled their disappointment when a break was announced for the kitchen orchestra to appear. Shortly afterwards, however, they, along with the rest of the audience, were on the edge of their seats enthralled by the show, with some even leaping up to dance along with the women.
The 13-minute performance is set in a kitchen where the six women are seen at the beginning of the routine cooking, washing sweeping etc. and cursing their fate. Then, one of them turns on the radio to find some up-tempo music, at which point they briefly forget their woes and start dancing.
As more tunes follow their energy only increases, with the women shaking and quaking as if to mimic the celebrated Bollywood choreography. Their show, dance steps mixed with humorous dialogue, culminates after an exhaustive, top to bottom workout to proclaim their joy. Their joyous performance was a demonstration of real, spontaneous and infectious pleasure, taking the audience along with them.
The six artistes - Biji Ramakrishnan, Shimi Santhosh, Jeeva Jayesh, Shajitha Raju, Shyna Priyesh, and Indira Radhakrishnan - all expressed great satisfaction with the team spirit behind the show. "There was no ego shown and our husbands were very encouraging and reassuring," said Biji.
The first time they performed was a show for their district association, with representatives of some other associations attending the event being so impressed that bookings for future events quickly followed. Last heard: the six women's husbands are now teaming up to do a comedy skit based on everyday family affairs; who says art doesn't imitate life?
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