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March 2005

The Akademic Genius Brothers Show

- by Emmanuelle

As part of the ongoing three months long Kalabhumi Festival of Arts, the much awaited ‘Akademic Genius Brothers Show' season has started again.


The by now internationally-famous Akademic Genius Brothers (Wazo, Paul, Jessy, Johnny and Auroson) are at it again, with their songs, crazy improvisations and incredible dynamism and energy. This time, their venue is the new outdoor Kalabhumi amphitheatre under the stars, and judging by the crowds who come pouring in to witness their shows, their fan following seems to be on the increase.

 Fundraising for the puncture service: The Akademic Genius Brothers singing their theme song in Tamil.
Two shows have already been staged since the beginning of the year, and there's a third, very special one already scheduled: “The Auroville Puncture Service”, which will be staged in Tamil, with special ‘polyphonik translations'. The two first shows were absolutely terrific and the Genius Brothers, with their sometimes subtle, sometimes in-your-face humour, had a large audience comprising individuals from all age groups and walks of life rolling on the floor with laughter and gasping for air.

As always, the Brothers touched upon a lot of the current issues relating to Auroville's present society, as well as recent events, in their sketches and songs. My personal favourites from the first show were the sketch about the Working Committee and Auroville Council members' nomination process and the sketch about the Winter Integral Studies Programme. The sketch about the ‘cell phone epidemic' was great fun too.

They were at it again a few weeks later, with their second show: clad in beautiful embroidered saris in one sketch, performing amazing sporting feats in another, and displaying their great theatrical prowess in yet another, they were truly unforgettable!

The latter theatrical sketch was a very original retake on Shakespeare's ‘The Tempest', recently performed by the Auroville Theatre Group at the Kalabhumi Festival of Arts. Or, more precisely, it was the ‘continuation of the story', narrated by Paul, with great ‘Shakespearian dramatic authority', and starring Auroson and Wazo Wazo as the princess  in an adapted version of Shakespeare’s The Tempestas the love struck prince and princess, Jesse as the tyrannical king and Paul as the distant relative of the prince, who has become an enlightened guru in some faraway land. It is to find the latter that the prince undertakes a perilous journey, accompanied by a servant who is none other then the princess in disguise.

Then there was also the Bharat Natyam performance, the hilarious sketch where Wazo explains ‘evolution' to Paul, the retrospective on ‘financial contributions and fund raising' in Auroville and the much acclaimed ‘plastic trumpet horn' dialogues.

A little ‘Magic' tea shop has also been set up by the Brothers on the Kalabhumi Festival premises: The Neo Urban Polyphonik Agency, which offered a great diversity of teas (especially brewed by the tea master), each one with a ‘secret magik power' and an intriguing name: the neo urban tea, the jazz tea, the polyphonik tea, the genius tea, the brother tea and the kerozene tea…

The Genius brothers have also got a new logo, the ‘genius cow', and T-shirts with the logo printed on them are being sold at the stands, so enthusiasts and fans can buy them to show their support and appreciation.

Wazo, a Genius brother who's also one of the organizers of the Kalabhumi Festival of Arts, has now gone into reporting. To the delight of his fans, his ‘Kalabhumi Festival Chroniks' are published in the Auroville ‘News and Notes' each week, ‘in Anglo-French with spelling mistakes and other stuff'…

Humour being an essential and integral part of any society, especially an experimental one in the making, I feel something very important would be missing in Auroville if the Genius Brothers didn't remind us, every now and then, to laugh at ourselves …

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