By Vanessa Turpin
55 minutes | Musical, Stand-up Slam | Mature
On opening night, Ananta took to the stage dressed in all black, perched atop a high stool and looked out at the intimate (read: small) crowd from behind round-framed glasses. He looked to be the quintessential depiction of a Beat poet, in a somewhat cliché way. In his hands he held a banjo and atop his head sat a black beret.
Through his solo-performance, Ananta rhymed what can be dubbed as “slam-philosophy” a mad mix of eastern wisdom and thoughtful punnery, rhythmically told to lighthearted and bluegrassy banjo playing.
A bit abstruse at times, Ananta explores topics such as what it means to be a somebody (if you’re a nobody and you know a somebody, does that make you a somebody?), the dangers of egocentrism, and the dualisms between masculine and feminine “mystic” energy.
Oftentimes the performance felt like being at a yoga retreat, or listening to that one hippy friend at a party who speaks of finding “real truth” through mindfulness and meditation. You can expect to sing along, have a few light laughs and to question how he managed to master rhyming at lighting speeds.
Although I feel Ananta was intended to be insightful and enlightening, it is by no means esoteric. It’s likely that anyone who has ever attended an intro philosophy class (or a yoga class, even) has mentally explored and drawn similar philosophical conclusions!
Best intended for: the bohemian, free-thinking non-conformist searching to see the unseen.
Best takeaways: How to say “turn off your phone” in Sanskirt, and quirky jokes such as “do arsonists have house-warming parties?”
Catch Ananta at La Nouvelle Scène. Next showings: Saturday June 18 1:30PM, Sunday June 19 5;00PM, Wednesday June 22 10:30PM, Friday June 24 7:30PM, Saturday June 25 4:00PM.