Nov. 16, 17 and 18 at 8 pm; Nov. 19 at 7 pm
Nava Dance Theatre, a dance company using the classical South Indian dance form of bharatanatyam as a medium for artistic reflection and discovery, presents the World Premiere of Broken Seeds (Still Grow). Broken Seeds (Still Grow) is a major collaboration between Nava Dance Theatre Co-Founder and Artistic Director Nadhi Thekkek, and Painter and Calligrapher Rupy C. Tut. It examines one of the most formative events in recent cultural history, the 1947 Partition of British India, which created over 15 million refugees and killed over one million people. Through a mixed visual media and bharatanatyam dance performance, they explore the hyphenated-American, immigrant experience, linking it to the displacement of their ancestors during Partition.
Together Thekkek and Tut will source eyewitness accounts of Partition from the 1947 Partition Archive (Berkeley, CA) and will examine how the feeling of displacement continues to shape their identities as hyphenated-Americans today. Thekkek will create dance vignettes inspired historical accounts narratives in the South Indian classical dance form of bharatanatyam, while Tut will create visual companion pieces in both Indian miniature painting and calligraphy. They will explore interaction between visual art, dance, and spoken word to tie these sources to their personal experiences.
Tut's artwork will be projected as video throughout the space during the performance, creating an interaction between the gestural elements of bharatanatyam and the storytelling power of Indian miniature painting. An installation of select pieces in the theater will allow the audience to view and interact more closely with the exhibit before and after the performance.
Composer and flautist G.S. Rajan is creating the original musical score. The entire cast will consist of 11 dancers and musicians.