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

wild child

Valérie Reding
Tues, Oct 3, 6pm

Knowledge and Affirmation from the Past

Txutxo Perez
Oct 5, Fri 3pm-5pm

Our Future Ends

Clement Hil Goldberg
OCT 12-14, 19-21, THU-SAT 8PM

Social Dancing (aka negotiation)

Keith Hennessy / Circo Zero
Wed, Oct 18, 6pm-9pm

Archived Events

Citation: A 37-hour durational performance by Raegan Truax

Raegan Truax
SEP 22-23, FRI-SAT 9AM-10PM

Won’t You Be Our Neighbor Mixer

SEP 7, THU 5PM – 7PM

MÆ – Motion Aftereffect & MESH

Freya Olafson with Yagiz Mungan and Kinetech Arts
SEP 7-9, 14-16, 2017, THU-SAT 8PM

Magic in the Tenderloin: A Coloring Book Adventure

Hannah Boles and Sylvester Guard
Fri, Sep 1, 3pm-5pm

Blog Roll

  • Judith Butler on Gender and Performativity

    Julie Phelps Interviewing Judith Butler Original Interview conducted on July 18, 2013 On Friday, November 3, 2017, renowned gender theorist Judith Butler will be conversing with Monique Jenkinson, the artist behind the cis-female drag persona Fauxnique in an evening entitled “Ordinary Practices of the Radical Body” at CounterPulse. Let’s take a look back to 2013 […]

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  • Combustible: an early retrospect

    So here we are, just before the last performance. It has been 5 exciting performances so far. With all of them going ‘perfect’… And of course nothing is never the perfect but those imperfections and the performers response to them make each night unique and different. This is the nature of things. Now let’s look […]

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  • Big changes happening to the membership program at CounterPulse, people. Big changes. I thought, what is a membership program for Counterpulse? For eight years I’ve been pondering the question, actually. What is membership for a community based, performing arts center? It is in the words community and arts. Members are our community. Anyone one who […]

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  • Groundwater and Grassroots: The Curious Tale of Justin Ebrahemi

    My Path: My career trajectory seems foreign to my family. “You’ve been studying water for 2 years and now you’re at a dance organization?” Well, not quite. You see, I got my Masters in a social science research program entitled Environment & Community, where I interrogated the disparate cultural themes surrounding water management in search […]

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