CounterPulse is launching into a mind-bending spring season with a series of performances that activate cultural pluralism through human-scale movements and bodily resistance. In spring 2018 we navigate through interplanetary time as lovers and cultural vanguards. Kicking things off in February, the legendary Kei Takei returns to San Francisco for a rare three nights of […]
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.
The Performing Diaspora residency at CounterPulse returned this year with two works mapping the connection between ancestry, queer identity, and tradition asking, ‘How do we collaborate with the force of the unseen? How we can transcend the toxins flowing in our bodies and societies?’ The residency creates a platform for artists of color to tell […]
Combining pompous burlesque acts with intimate confessions, ,wild child” blurs the line between natural and artificial, authenticity and masquerade, reality and fantasy. The performer morphs from one character to the next and reenacts past encounters to discover what sexual desire is. They play with femininity and other gender roles to unveil the joy, fear, shame, violence, […]
Questions to Consider (proposed by Randy): Who are your Lxs Desaparecidxs? In what ways has being in this process shifted your own creative practice, if at all? Where do you see the piece going next and how do you see the work evolving? What questions have persisted since the process began and what new […]
When given an empty canvas, I stare intently at my toes as I wiggle them, plan which wall to remove and couch to shift were the place mine, examine my palms as I ponder my life as written in wrinkles and wonder which wrinkle is Wednesday’s. One might say I do nothing. I certainly do […]