About This Artist

Devendra Sharma is a performer, writer, and director of Nautanki, Raaslila, Bhagat, and Rasiya, the traditional musical theatre genres of northern India. He was trained in the famous Swami-Khera Gharana by renowned folk guru Pundit Ram Dayal Sharma. He has given more than five hundred performances to date and directed many films illustrating Indian folk traditions. At present, he is an Assistant Professor of Communication at California State University, Fresno. Sharma’s artistic mission is to use the indigenous performing arts to bring critical attention to contemporary global issues and empower marginalized people. His current Nautanki piece examines the phenomenon of Indian men who come to America from India to study or work and have two romantic partners, one in India and another in America.


“Mission Suhani”
Nautanki, a traditional folk musical theater from rural north India, is marked by lively dancing, pulsating drumbeats, and full-throated singing. Mission Suhani follows a confident young Indian bride, and her Non-Resident Indian groom, who has taken her dowry and left her in India. Against familial and societal pressure, Suhani travels to the U.S. where she finds her husband, recovers the dowry…and more! Working with his father Pundit Ram Dayal Sharma, a prominent Nautanki master, Sharma crafts a brilliantly entertaining, thought-provoking and moving musical that examines women’s empowerment.

Upcoming Events

Ignite Another 30 Years of Art & Action

Give CounterPulse a Gift Today!
Help us raise $30,000 to celebrate our thirties

Flashback Futures

The CounterPulse Solstice Party
Sat, Dec 19, 5pm-7:30pm PST on Zoom

Skills Bucket

with CounterPulse staff!
Third Wednesdays, September-February, 3:00pm-3:30pm PDT

Music Box Orchestra

Rick Darnell
First and Third Fridays in November & December, 6pm-7pm PDT

Archived Events

Tenderloin Day of the Dead Altar

Jeff Marshall
Altar Dedication on Sat, Oct 31, 3-4pm at The Tenderloin Museum

2020 Deaf Louder Virtual Performance

Antoine Hunter / Urban Jazz Dance Company & Guests
Fri & Sat, Nov 6 & 7, 6pm-7pm PST on Twitch

Matchbox Lab #4: Hybrid Tenders

Ronja Ver <> Kal Spelletich
Tues, Oct 27, 7pm-8pm (Live 6:45pm)

Blog Roll

  • Glitch Crush

    “Primeiro estranha-se, depois entranha-se” (At first it’s strange, then it gets into your veins) – Fernando Pessoa I am part of the Human/ID team, a collaboration with StratoFyzika and Ian Heisters that probes how identity is rendered legible (or illegible) through movement and technology.  Tagging onto the notion of digital flaws and their rich potential […]

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  • IDENTITY AND MOVEMENT: MOTION TRANSFER WITH NEURAL NETWORKS

    Deep fake dancing and breaking technology I’ve been talking with the StratoFyzika team about how identity resides in the body for their residency in CounterPulse’s Combustible program. We’re researching surveillance technology, machine learning, and dance for a performance in spring 2020. The research is conceptual as well as practical, and the following comprises my notes in building a first […]

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  • A Platform, A Stage, An Audience

    We are artists. In some ways, we are sacrificial lambs. We bleed publicly. We can be found dancing naked and crying the necessary tear. We do this so they can name what they have sacrificed. To those without words, we give poetry; those without melody, a song. And to him, that guy, that just can’t […]

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  • Behind the Lens with Robbie Sweeny

    I’ve always been a fan of Robbie Sweeny. For years I’ve admired his photographer choreography, his hurried movement and cadence during performances. It takes considerable method and skill to shoot the perfect angle, and to capture the compelling photos that highlight CountrePulse’s Instagram feed. My colleagues and I admire his stylistic editing; together we scroll […]

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