Jheeni – A weave of poems by Kabir, Janabai and Chokhamela

10 Sep 2017
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A dance theatre presentation by Shruthi Vishwanath, Hitesh Dhutia, Vinayak Netke and Sanjukta Wagh 

Co-founder and director of Beej, performer, choreographer, teacher and curator, exponent Sanjukta Wagh will present Jheeni  - an interplay of music, dance and theatre. Jheeni meaning subtle, ventures into the empty space between words in the poems of Janabai, Chokhamela and Kabir. Their poems are worlds embedded with silences, non-verbal stories of struggle, doubt, hesitation, revelation and surrender. Navigating this uncharted terrain through a series of sonic and spatial improvisations, the artistes weave in and out of these worlds, using metaphors the poems offer: the cloth, the boat and the body, blurring the line between personal and collective journeys along the way.

The word Jheeni means subtle. Jheeni ventures into the empty space between words in the poems of Janabai, Chokhamela and Kabir. Their poems are worlds embedded with silences, non-verbal stories of struggle, doubt, hesitation, revelation and surrender. Navigating this uncharted terrain through a series of sonic and spatial improvisations, the artistes weave in and out of these worlds, using metaphors the poems offer: the cloth, the boat and the body, blurring the line between personal and collective journeys along the way.

Directors’ Note:

Jheeni is a weave of multiple hues and threads. A weave that dares to embrace air. Words of contemporary poet Arundhathi Subramaniam bring together voices of Kabir, Janabai, Chokhamela and Chowdaiah, along with their translations in English. Through one lens, it is an exploration of poetry- diving into rich mystic voices in Hindi/Braj bhasha, Marathi, Kannada and English. Through another, it is a musical journey- with voice blending into tabla, and improvised guitar exploring with ghunghroos. Embodiment of the poems in Kathak, contemporary movement and dance-theatre brings in yet another dimension. The treatment of text varies from poem to poem. Beginning with an abstract, melodic and rhythmic interplay rich in sound and movement, Jheeni then ventures into storytelling with song, dance and abhinaya, coming back once again to silence and the abstract, deliberately overthrowing easy

classifications and inhabiting the rich dialectic of nirgun and sagun bhakti. Woven together in a production that can occupy many stages and spaces, Jheeni is a celebration of the diversity that bhakti poetry offers.

Artists: Co-director & dancer : Sanjukta Wagh

Co-director & musician: Shruthi Vishwanath

Guitar: Hitesh Dhutia

Tabla: Vinayak Netke/Shruteendra Katagade

Lighting Designer: Deepa Dharmadhikar i

Poems, Text, Translations: Kabir

Janabai

Chokhamela

Ambigara Chowdaiah

Arundhathi Subramaniam

H.S. Shivaprakash

Jacqui Daukes

Jerry Pinto

Neela Bhagwat

Compositions: Kumar Gandharva

Gundecha Brothers

Jitendra Abhisheki

Shruthi Vishwanath

*Text drawn from “Eating God- A Book of Bhakti Poetry” Edited by Arundhathi Subramaniam.

Published by Penguin Ananda.

**Poems from “When God is a Traveller” by Arundhathi Subramaniam. Published by Harper

Collins India.

*Translation of Ambigara Chowdaiah- H.S. Shivaprakash (From Eating God- A Book of Bhakti

Poetry).

**Translation of Janabai- Jerry Pinto & Neela Bhagwat (From Eating God- A Book of Bhakti Poetry)

and Jacqui Daukes (SOAS London)

 

Reviews and Press:

 

“Passion and profundity fuse in a performance that’s both instinctive and intellectual”

- Shanta Gokhale

https://goo.gl/Edd3rU

https://goo.gl/5nQdep

https://goo.gl/QWjSTU

 

 

Artists:

 

Co founder and director of beej, performer, choreographer, teacher and curator, Sanjukta Wagh has trained extensively under Rajashree Shirke in Kathak and Pandit Murli Manohar Shukla in Hindustani Music. Her engagement with theatre (honed by playwright-director Chetan Datar), her year-long experience at the Laban Centre of Dance, London, her love of literature and deep unease with comfort zones, have led to her interdisciplinary and exploratory mode of work. Her choreographies like

Rage and Beyond: Irawati's Gandhari, Bheetar Baahar, Ubha Vitewari, Putana And I along with traditional Kathak solo and ensemble performances have won her applause across the country and abroad. She is the recent recipient of the Vinod Doshi award for significant work in performing arts. Her recent dance theatre work , Rage and Beyond: Irawati’s Gandhari won two National Theatre Awards at META, 2015. Sanjukta won the award for best actress in lead role.

 

Musician, educator and composer Shruthi Vishwanath has trained under some of the finest voices across the folk and classical landscape. For over 20 years, she learnt the rigours and joys of Carnatic music with Sangeeta Kala Acharya B. Krishnamoorthy, Komanduri Seshadri, among others. Touched by the visceral nature of Kabir, she plunged into the worlds of mystic poetry, and now performs a wide repertoire of abhangs, nirgun poetry and dasarapadagalu. Her interpretations of abhangs have resulted in several new revivals of unknown works, especially of women warikari composers. She is a grantee of the India Foundation for the Arts, and was a grantee of the Indonesian Arts and Culture Scholarship. She also develops a performing arts curriculum for first generation school-goers at a foundation in rural

South India.

 

Hitesh Dhutia is a freelance live guitarist and composer. He has been part of several albums such as Take a Closer Look with Needless to Say, Cosmic Chant with Rajeev Raja Combine among others. He has recorded for numerous ads and films. Rage and Beyond: Irawati’s Gandhari, his first collaboration with dance-theatre, won him the national award for best sound design at META, 2015.

 

Vinayak Netke is a percussionist, musician and composer who has played with several highly lauded bands and ensembles from across the country. He has recorded extensively.

 

Shruteendra Katagade is one of the finest young tabla players of today. He is a disciple of Pandit Yogesh Samsi, and has regularly accompanied senior Hindustani classical artists.

 

Deepa Dharmadhikari is a director and lighting designer. She studied lighting design at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, while pursuing a BFA in Dance. Some of the choreographers whose work she has lit include José Limón, Trisha Brown, George Balanchine, Sonal Mansingh, Lilette Dubey, Geeta Chandran, Anita Ratnam. She has toured Japan, Korea, Bahrain, England and Egypt as a lighting designer.

 

Tickets: 360 & 270/- (Members)

400 & 300/- (Public)

(Plus GST as applicable) 

 

Venue: Godrej Dance Theatre
Price: Member: 360 & 270/-
Non-Member: 400 & 300/-
Sunday 10 Sep
5:00 pm
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