In the late afternoon I make final preparations for mask performance around the street and beach site. After four days of intensive making the King of the Dogs is finally making an appearance – dancing into Puri – a familiar but alien presence, and for a few hours the town is subjected to another spirit; doglike and dogheaded, roaming myopically through the byways of this sacred city.
As with other intuitive performances created in public space the masked figure operates in another zone, just in front of what is prescribed and allowed. So the King of the Dogs runs before the law just before the door is firmly shut on his twitching nose. Sniffing a way into spaces and places just out of reach or out of bounds, encounters with the human are completely unpredictable. And yet like a true street dog slipping into and through barriers, speaking across species and seeking out opportunities for companionship or nourishment, The King of the Dogs plays host to a stream of continuous speculative exchange. All the while accompanied by the extraordinary dancing musicianship of Matt Scott’s accordion playing.
Finally the Puri King of the Dogs is laid on the sea edge and burnt.
Images from the Performance (Photos and Film: Diana Gurdulu and Tilla Crowne)
First some rehearsal (with Rishikesh Deshmane, Seidhar Nayak and Basan):
Then the performance (With improvised Accordion – Matt Scott):
Then the aftermath (On Puri Beach):
Finally the burning:
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