To Varnam ... with Love

Touring in Autumn 2022

A story of unsettling timely relevance - about being separated from those we love. Obsession, devotion, commitment & rejection are untangled as exquisite performer Divya Kasturi reveals the 'Varnam'; a pièce de résistance of the Bharatanatyam (classical South Asian dance) repertoire.


A story of love, devotion and commitment; to a god, to a myth, to a way of moving and being.


See the trailer here


Set against a projections visual backdrop, this research places the Varnam, a ‘piece de resistance’ of a Bharatanatyam repertoire performance, within an ever-changing, fluid contemporary moment.


Personal & arresting, this dynamic tale attracts a breadth of audiences and captures artistic lineage, historical nostalgia & reverence for tradition via song, humour, dolls, projection & soul-soothing South Asian/Western choreography. 


Inspired by Saskia Kersenboom’s book ‘Word, Sound, Image’ (1995) and Chitra Sundaram’s performance ‘Moham – A Magnificent Obsession’ (2003). Created as part of The Place’s research and development programme Choreodrome 2017.


Choreography and performance

Divya Kasturi



Chris Fogg


Dramaturgy and movement


Chitra Sundaram


Video design

John-Marc Gowans


Rohanne Udall



‘Mohamana’ Varnam, composed by Ponnaih Pillai (b.1804)

Additional composition, vocals and instrumental: ‘Chitravina’ Ganesh


Thank you to:

Dr Avanthi Meduri, Smt. Nandini Ramani and Nina Head

To Varnam... with Love was supported as part of 
Choreodrome 2017, The Place (London).

Research and development was funded by Arts Council England, and supported by The Place, Trestle Arts Base,
Watford Palace Theatre and Akademi.
Sharing were presented at The Place's Touchwood showcase (September 8 2017) and as part of Fun Palace at Trestle Arts Base (October 8 2017)

Performances upto date

*Key Theatre, Peterborough
*Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
*The Place, London
*Kalasangam, Bradford