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.
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
Dramaturgy and movement
‘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