About This Artist
Devendra Sharma is a performer, writer, and director of Nautanki, Raaslila, Bhagat, and Rasiya, the traditional musical theatre genres of northern India. He was trained in the famous Swami-Khera Gharana by renowned folk guru Pundit Ram Dayal Sharma. He has given more than five hundred performances to date and directed many films illustrating Indian folk traditions. At present, he is an Assistant Professor of Communication at California State University, Fresno. Sharma’s artistic mission is to use the indigenous performing arts to bring critical attention to contemporary global issues and empower marginalized people. His current Nautanki piece examines the phenomenon of Indian men who come to America from India to study or work and have two romantic partners, one in India and another in America.
Nautanki, a traditional folk musical theater from rural north India, is marked by lively dancing, pulsating drumbeats, and full-throated singing. Mission Suhani follows a confident young Indian bride, and her Non-Resident Indian groom, who has taken her dowry and left her in India. Against familial and societal pressure, Suhani travels to the U.S. where she finds her husband, recovers the dowry…and more! Working with his father Pundit Ram Dayal Sharma, a prominent Nautanki master, Sharma crafts a brilliantly entertaining, thought-provoking and moving musical that examines women’s empowerment.
May 15, 2018
As a disabled person I have always appreciated CounterPulse’s support and presentation of disabled artists. In the two plus years I have been with CounterPulse, I have seen several amazing shows by disabled artists: dancers on crutches, dancers with prosthetic limbs, dancers in wheelchairs, and dancers with a visual impairment. Being disabled, and an arts […]
Inverse worlds, similar dialogue. It wasn’t until I was living in the redwoods that I noticed something was off. Amidst bluegrass festivals and chants to “save the trees!”, there was a curious trend in the crowds. Surrounded by pale faces throughout my peregrination of environmental work, my fervor eclipsed critical inquiry into the causes we […]
I LOVE THIS (or….very personal reflections that aren’t completely about the inaugural CounterPulse Festival)
I don’t actually remember the first time that I met Julie, but I do have a picture in my head of sitting at my desk at the old CounterPulse, at 1310 Mission, and looking to my left and seeing her working at a desk that we rented out to Jess Curtis at the time for […]
An excerpt from Jesse Hewit’s piece on Upstanding Others as part of the 2018 CounterPulse Festival. Originally published on SFMOMA’s Open Space. Read the full piece here. The premise: Upstanding Others was an experiment that happened within the inaugural CounterPulse Festival, and it happened from March 12 through March 17, 2018. There were eight to ten […]