Performing Diaspora 2018 artists Cynthia Ling Lee and Melissa Lewis in conversation. Cynthia Ling Lee: I’m excited to chat about your work today! Tell me a little about the initial inspiration for your work. Where did it come from? Melissa Lewis: I had this wild and weird dream some time ago. Bruce Lee (or some version […]
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.
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.
I dreamed Bruce Lee was my father by Melissa Lewis (顾眉) runs Thu-Sat, Dec 6-8 and 13-15 as part of a double-billed performance with Cynthia Ling Lee. Get tickets to Performing Diaspora 2018 at counterpulse.org/performing-diaspora-2018
Throughout the month of November, I hosted a birthday fundraiser in service of the CounterPulse Fellowship for Arts Workers. I want to extend deepest gratitude for all who contributed. Your efforts will support two bright and aspiring young professionals, Maya Nixon and Samantha Kuykendall, through the first full expression of the program–a paid learn-work opportunity, […]
Performing Diaspora 2018 artists Melissa Lewis (顾眉) and Cynthia Ling Lee on Cynthia’s work, Lost Chinatowns. Original conversaiton on Oct 27, 2018 Melissa Lewis: I love hearing about how your work began. Can you share the story of where things started with this piece? Cynthia Ling Lee: It all started with the search for groceries. Asian […]
By Jeanne Pfeffer, Director of Producing & Advancement Interview on September 7, 2018 I’ve known Charles for over ten years now. I helped him launch his company FACT/SF from 2009-2014 and now serve as President of their Board of Directors. I caught up with Charles recently over a beer to learn about his current […]