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Festival Details

Conceived and curated by Arundhathi Subramaniam 

Godrej Dance Theatre and Experimental Theatre
Friday, 3rd – 4.00 pm onwards
Saturday, 4th – 3.00 pm onwards

An NCPA Presentation

For the devotee, She is mother and protector. For the spiritual seeker, She is guide and key to inner transformation. For those seeking a more just, gender-balanced and ecologically sustainable world, She is inspiration and emblem.

She looms, shadowy and mysterious, over all the cultures of the world. Over the centuries, She has taken on innumerable names and forms. She also speaks to multiple orientations—yogic, tantric, devotional, and in recent times, global New Age and feminist.

For the Shakta tradition of the Indian subcontinent, She is both creation and creator, the manifest and the unmanifest world. A planet awakening to the urgency of ecological awareness seems to need her more than ever before.

GODDESS is a unique and exuberant celebration of the Sacred Feminine. It weaves together a tapestry of Goddess poems from diverse lands and across the ages—from Mesopotamia to Greece, from the eighth-century Sanskrit poem, the Saundarya Lahari, to the 18th-century Bengali poetry of Ramprasad Sen and 20thcentury Tamil poems of Subramania Bharati.

It yokes together poetry translated from diverse languages—Sanskrit, Pali and Khasi to Bengali, Gujarati and Tamil. It celebrates multiple goddesses—from Shakti to Mei Hukum, Aphrodite to Astarte, Demeter to Diana, Abhirami to Ambika, Kali to Saraswati.  It brings together an assortment of musical styles—from the rousing Karnataka tradition that celebrates Yellamma, the goddess of transgenders, to the joyous Gujarati garba sung by women to multiple goddesses. It brings together a diversity of tonesfrom adoration and ecstasy to complaint and rage (for in the Goddess is also sometimes rebuked by her lovers in that unusual literary genre, the nindastuti). It brings together a variety of practitioners and perspectives—poets, translators, musicians, theatre actors, scholars.

In honouring the Goddess, this festival hopes to add its voice to the rising chorus across the world that seeks to reclaim a more balanced, less lopsided, inclusive legacy of culture and spirituality.

Welcome to GODDESS: an explosive, multidisciplinary celebration of the Divine Feminine, her many forms and faces.

Curator Arundhathi Subramaniam, is a leading Indian poet and spiritual traveller. She is the award-winning author of 13 books of poetry and prose, most recently, a volume on contemporary female sacred travellers, entitled Women Who Wear Only Themselves. Other works include the Penguin anthology of Bhakti poetry, Eating God, and the bestselling biography, Sadhguru: More Than a Life.


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The NCPA is committed to preserving and promoting India's rich and vibrant artistic heritage in the fields of music, dance, theatre, film, literature and photography, as well as presenting new and innovative work by Indian and international artists from a diverse range of genres including drama, contemporary dance, orchestral concerts, opera, jazz and chamber music.