GIRLS, GODDESSES AND GHOSTS: EMPOWERING WOMEN
A unique evening of performance and discussion dedicated to the empowerment of young girls and women through dance and dialogue. Featuring an introduction by Eugenia Flynn, followed by a presentation on Nehha Bhatnagar’s work with the Sarvam Foundation on the power of performance in transforming the lives of under privileged girls in the Delhi slums. Followed by the Warrior Goddess- a classical dance performance by Nehha. Dr Priya Srinivasan (Asia Institute Melbourne University) will present a contemporary multimedia performance with Carnatic vocalist Uthra Vijay based on the haunting texts of a 9th Century South Indian female poet with the juxtaposition of Romanian photo journalist Andreea Campaneau’s work in South Sudan.
“At a moment when control over women’s bodies and migration is in question the world over, where women and migrants bodies are seemingly unwanted, the evening concerns itself with what possible atmospheres and futures open-up when song, dance, voice, and bodies collide with layered fragments of the past.”
Girls, Goddesses and Ghosts offers a ground breaking and unprecedented partnership between organisations including the Consulate General of India, the Arts Centre Melbourne, Dancehouse, Australia India Institute, Creative Victoria and Multicultural Arts Victoria. A Roundtable with activist Eugenia Flynn, choreographer Melanie Lane, Nehha Bhatnagar and myself follows the performances that will invite the audience to engage communities in social change through the arts.”
Dr Priya Srinivasan
The evening will culminate in a discussion on how dance can inform identity-making and translate into empowerment for new generations of women in the Indian and Asian-Australian diaspora, effecting positive change and alternative futures.
All proceeds will go to the Sarvam Foundation: www.sarvamfoundation.in
Time & Date: 7pm, Friday 4 August
Venue: Dancehouse, 150 Princes St, Carlton North
Tickets $25 Full/20 Conc available via https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=298951
All proceeds will go to the Sarvam Foundation: www.sarvamfoundation.in
For more information on Nehha’s work see: www.nehha.in
Darren Saffin, Progressive PR: +61 3 9696 6417; firstname.lastname@example.org
Katrina Lin, Multicultural Arts Victoria: +61 9188 3681; Katrina.email@example.com
Andrea Campeanu is a Romanian freelance photojournalist based in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She holds a MA in Media and Visual Anthropology from Free University in Berlin. She frequently contributes to Reuters, AFP, the United Nations and international NGOs. Her work has appeared among others in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Time, Le Monde, Paris Match, The Guardian, Newsweek and National Geographic Romania. Her work often focuses on documenting issues related to displacement and the effects of conflict. She has covered the ramifications of war in South Sudan and Central African Republic. She also frequently cover arts, fashion and sports culture in marginalized countries or communities. She lived and worked in Sudan, South Sudan, Madagascar and Lebanon. She also worked in Spain, Morocco, Central African Republic, Greece, Turkey.
Dr. Priya Srinivasan
Dr. Priya Srinivasan is a dancer, choreographer and scholar whose research and performance is framed by postmodern sensibilities while grounded in feminist Indian classical performance practices. Her work brings together live bodily performance with visual art, interactive multimedia and digital technology to think about archives of the body, migration, and female labor from the perspective of art. Her work has been presented in diverse settings in many theatre houses, galleries, universities, museums, and in public spaces such as the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai (China), The Korzo Theatre in The Hague (Netherlands), Folkwang Performing Arts Center in Essen (Germany), The Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam (Netherlands), typografia galleria in Bucharest (Romania), Krishna Gana Sabha in Chennai (India), Unknown Theatre in California, in international festivals such as AsiaTOPA and Jaipur Literary Festival in Melbourne, Australia, and site specific works at the Berlin Wall Memorial and the Church of Reconciliation, Gangeviertel in Hamburg, The Showroom Gallery in London, Irvine Civic Center and Bill Barber Park in Los Angeles, Treasury Building and The Immigration Museum in Melbourne. She has presented her performance and academic work at Harvard University (USA), Stanford University (USA), Oxford University (UK) and others. She has a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and has created the form of “talking dances” based on her award-winning book “Sweating Saris Indian Dance as Transnational Labor.” Originally from Melbourne Priya was trained in the classical and contemporary Indian and Asian arts by Dr. Chandrabhanu and performed extensively with the Bharatam Dance Company in her early years. After returning recently to Melbourne Priya has created a range of community specific pieces that focus on migration and loss, and make visible minority women’s histories offering an alternate feminist aesthetic. She hopes to serve local communities in de-centering practices, re-imagining history in the present, develop socio-political critiques, highlighting the importance of migration and movement in these deeply divided critical times to enable a better understanding of how art helps communities accept their mutual dependence.
Eugenia Flynn is a writer, arts worker and community organiser. She identifies as Aboriginal, Chinese and Muslim, working within multiple communities to create change through art, literature, and community development. With over ten years’ experience in community arts and cultural development, Eugenia has worked with Kurruru Youth Performing Arts, the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, RISE Refugees Survivors & Ex-Detainees, and Blak Dot Gallery. Currently, Eugenia is Chief Executive Officer of The Social Studio, a social enterprise that uses fashion and hospitality as a vehicle to improving the lives of young Australians who come from refugee or migrant backgrounds.
Nehha Bhatnagar is a force for change in performing arts in India. A renowned young Bharatanatyam exponent, Nehha has performed in 15 countries and 24 states within India. She is the senior disciple of Padma Bhushan awardee Dr. Saroja Vaidyanathan & Rama Vaidyanathan.
Nehha is also the youngest arts impressario in India–and runs her foundation, SARVAM which organizes unique Classical arts festivals and collaborations–international exhibitions, international calendars, residencies and many many more endeavours. Nehha’s Foundation holds free classes for the underpriviledged girl child in Delhi and the girls perform frequently in India and abroad. Nehha is also a frequent speaker on the TEDx circuit and is the Licensee and Curator of one of India’s largest TEDx events- TEDxTughlaqRd. She is a mentor for the arts, a speaker on creativity and enterpreneurship and as her passion, enjoys gourmet cooking and reading books and books and books. For Nehha’s work see: www.nehha.in
Uthra Vijay is the Artistic Director of Keerthana School of Music in Melbourne that she founded in 2003 currently with over 95 students. She is a versatile artist, composer and educator, who is equally comfortable working in the classical realm or experimenting with non-classical forms of music including popular music and contemporary forms. She has an extensive background in Indian classical music, winning several awards and performing in a range of venues in India and Australia. Uthra is an accomplished Classical Indian Music Vocalist emerging from a musical family having trained in the Carnatic music form since the age of 5. She learned from several distinguished gurus and was exposed to different musical styles culminating in her training under the auspices of S.P. Ramh in the late legendary violinist Lalgudi Jayaram’s School of Music. She has brought her extensive solo performance experience in South India from The Rasika Ranjani Sabha, Karaikudi Kamban Vizha, Ramakrishna Mutt, and elsewhere to Melbourne and has presented concert length performances at the Carnatic Music Circle, Laya Vidya Centre, Indian Music Academy of Melbourne, Sydney Music Circle, and several Indian Dance school concerts. Uthra has overseen and directed 11 annual concerts of the Keerthana School of Music with over 100 performers. She has also collaborated and performed with Dr. Priya Srinivasan in contemporary performances at the Treasury Building for Mapping Melbourne Festival, Jaipur Literary Festival in Melbourne (Fed Square), Immigration Museum for the Triennial International Asian Festival AsiaTOPA which included intercultural experimentation with Iranian singer Tabassom Ostad as well as performances at the Showroom Gallery in London, Royal Central School of Drama. She also collaborated with Yiddish singer Inge Mandos, choreographer Dr. Hannah Schwadron and Dr. Priya Srinivasan in Hamburg and Berlin for site specific works at the Gangeviertel, Berlin Wall Memorial, and Church of Reconciliation. Her compositional work includes setting classical and contemporary music for vocalists and dancers alike, including soundscapes for experimental artists. She is a leader in Indian Migrant Communities of Melbourne and just completed her term as the Secretary of Federation of Indian Music and Dance Association of Victoria. Her primary goal is to work both for the South Asian communities of Melbourne and for wider communities to open minds and hearts through music.
More info: http://keerthana.com.au/