Mallakhamb

PhotographerLucas Dragone
Prize1st Place in Editorial / Sports
Entry Description

Mallakhamb a traditional Indian sport in which a gymnast performs feats and poses on a vertical wooden pole or rope. In India mallakhamb is considered as a sport, it is not a form of circus or dance. It is related to wrestling and bodybuilding, it can look like the pole became the opponent for the wrestler.Mallakhamb is facing the risk of extinction. Mallakhamb is an important element of India's sporting heritage which needs to be preserved.

About Photographer

Lucas Dragone is an awards winning visual artist, storyteller. Born in Belgium to parents with a strong sense of cultural and social commitment, he spends his childhood steeped in an environment that explored the most varied forms of creativity, in line with a particularly difficult local situation. He studied at the Lassaad international school of theater and worked with the Compagnie Barbiana in Belgium; performing directing and teaching. He also explored theater in Italy and Brazil. After a few years he decided to switch from theater to visual-arts and music as a means to express his creativity. He became Looka Loopa making music videos, documentaries, short films and visual experiments, all inspired by his sincere outlook on life. Giving as much importance to the people and situations filmed as to the style. In the past few years, he initiated a project of documenting and capturing various forms of theaters from Asia and around the World through his camera. By doing this, Looka hopes to contribute to the documentation of theatre forms, to try and depict the transmission of this cultural patrimony to the next generations by witnessing and photographing the work of Masters, the craftsmanship of the Creators, enter the world of Actors, Artists and Director from preparation to the performance. Rather than a quest for exoticism, this series is an archival work to reflect a diversity that may disappear. Through theater we can understand 'the others' better, its about sharing even in its most basically and instinctive way, theater is about sharing at least the space on stage. All those practices demand a lot of rules and disciplines and in Asia it take a life time to achieve a good level to performer on stage. In Asia theater take part in every day life. There is something of a ceremonial quality of religious rite. Today everything go fast, today not a lot of people come to see those ancestor of theater.
Theater is not only for the beauty of it but to try to understand a little of humanity. The roots of traditional performing arts are slowly fading away, everywhere in the world. The young generations just don't want to spend 10 years learning a movement, a dance, a discipline. Over the past decade, the practice of numerous local forms of performing arts has significantly decreased because these activities are not considered important in modern society. But by nature, art is a kind of documentation, it reflects the society in which it was made. If we lose this, we lose a very big part of a universal and yet singular heritage.