Telling myself what to do feels foreign And bends itself into what will turn into the first escape of many It takes a careful tread and a dissonant listening in order to achieve the uncut smile that spreads across my face So I scan wildly Wanting no one’s eye but my own Desperation and wanton […]
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.
So CounterPulse is centering their second annual festival around improvisation and the pursuit of “freedom,” and this… is just a very real workout for all of me: brain, bod, heart, etc. I think it’s a bold move on our part. And I say: thank goodness for bold moves. Years ago, I used to co-teach a […]
Interview conducted by Claire Frost, Artspan Program Manager, on January 28, 2019 Claire Frost: How do you see your work and your practice fitting into CounterPulse’s space + programming? How does this space contextualize (or not) your work? Brea Weinreb: Similar to CounterPulse, community is integral to my work. Every figure painting I’ve ever made has […]
UNEARTHED is a night of video installations and performances by Bay Area emerging artists exploring ancestry and diaspora, trauma and healing, vulnerability and sexuality, and questions about our past and future. Co-curator Claire Staples interviews three of the artists: Titania Kumeh Claire Staples: You have been exploring the bathtub birth story in your performance work for […]