SVA Kranti – The Revolution Within
Dancer, storyteller and activist Mallika Sarabhai is one of the most vital figures in Indian dance today.
As director of the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts – established by her mother Mrinalini in 1949 – she has helped shape the dance vocabulary of countless students while also maintaining a rich and dynamic practice of her own.
With SVA Kranti: The Revolution Within, Sarabhai employs multimedia, theatre, music and dance to conjure an imagined conversation with Mahatma Gandhi through the prism of a 21st century woman. The work explores the lives of women who have struggled non-violently with truth, and challenges the relevance of Gandhi’s teachings to the contemporary female experience.
Fiery, irreverent and provocative, Sarabhai dances with an urgency that will not be denied. Following the performance, an artist talk sees this social justice crusader and nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize join artist-curator Nithya Nagarajan for a discussion about her unique brand of ‘artivism’, her dance practice and her politics.
WHEN: Friday 28 and Saturday 29 February, 7pm (60 min performance followed by 30 min talk)
VENUE: FCAC Performance Space
COST: Full $30 / Concession $20
This performance employs a lock-out policy. Audience members that arrive later than 10 minutes to the performance will not be permitted to enter.
About Mallika Sarabhai
Mallika Sarabhai is one of India’s leading choreographers and dancers, in constant demand as a soloist and with her own dance company, Darpana, creating and performing both classical and contemporary works. She has a Ph.D. in organisational behaviour and has been the co-director of the prestigious arts institution, Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, for nearly 40 years.
Mallika first made a name for herself in India as a film actress but soon was recognised as an exceptional young dancer in the classical forms of Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi. At 18, she won the first of many awards.
She first came to international notice as an actress when she played the role of Draupadi in Peter Brook’s The Mahabharata for 5 years, first in French and then English, performing in France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, the United States, Australia, Japan and Scotland.
Always an activist for education, human rights and women’s empowerment, Mallika began using her work for social change. In 1989 she created the first of her hard-hitting solo theatrical works, Shakti: The Power of Women. Since then Mallika has created numerous stage productions which have raised awareness, highlighted crucial issues and advocated change, several of which have toured internationally as well as throughout India.
In the mid 90s Mallika began to develop her own contemporary dance vocabulary and went on to create short and full-length works that have been presented throughout India and in over 50 countries of the world.
SVA Kranti – The Revolution Within is presented for Asia TOPA.
Mallika Sarabhai and Darpana Academy of Performing Arts tours SVA Kranti – The Revolution Within with support from Arts Centre Melbourne through the Sidney Myer Fund for Asia TOPA 2020.
1- Image courtesy of Darpana Archives