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

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City Stories Workshop

San Francisco Creative Writing Institute
Wednesdays, November 10 & 17 and December 1 & 8 with a Reading on December 15 at CounterPulse, 12pm-2pm PDT

Not About Race Dance

Gerald Casel
December 2-4 and 9-11, 2021 Thursday, 7:30 pm; Friday, 7:30 pm; Saturday at 2 pm and 7:30 pm

CATENA: sound/image through a hybrid network

Dilate Ensemble & ThoughtWorks Arts
January 13 & 14, 2022 at 7pm PT

Archived Events

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Flyaway Productions
Thurs-Sun, Oct 14-17, 7pm & 8:30pm PDT. Additional showing Sat, Oct 16, 5pm

Day of the Dead Altar Project

TenderArts
Workshops every Friday in October & Dedication on Monday November 1st

TenderArts Residency with Joe Landini

SAFEHouse Arts
Workshops Oct 4 & 11 @ 7pm

(Re)Weaving with Two-Spirits

Film Screening with Weaving Spirits Festival Curators and Dr. Jennifer Lisa Vest
Sat, Sept 18, 3-4:30pm PDT on Twitch

Blog Roll

  • Sunday’s Mystery

    The SEED residency was a blessing of space and time to create. My artistic partner Jakob and I spent as much time as we could at CounterPulse, long hours in the space, not just for creation and play, but to live and be in the space, to be part of the environment that is CounterPulse […]

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  • Embodied Divination with Amara Tabor-Smith

    Amara Tabor-Smith (she/her/we) is a choreographer/performance maker and the artistic director of Deep Waters Dance Theater.  On Tuesday September 14th as part of the CounterPulse Festival 2021, we will be hosting Embodied Divination, a movement-based workshop where participants are invited to “contemplate their body as oracle, as compass, and a site for social repair”. Limited […]

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  • On Permission

    At the CounterPulse Festival this September, The Performance Primers will be hosting a virtual panel discussion and mixer titled “Queeratorial Collectives Do It Themselves“. This conversation will explore how working on a grassroots level outside conventional venues and capitalist values opens up new possibilities and invites deeper engagement among audiences and artists. Ahead of this […]

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