The 2012-2013 season of the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series concludes Friday, March 22, with “Bahu-Beti-Biwi,” a solo performance by intercultural, multidisciplinary director, choreographer, and performer Sheetal Gandhi. Reviewed as “striking” and “stunning” in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Gandhi incorporates elements of contemporary and traditional dance, dramatic multilingual vocalizations and percussive text to comment on the Indian diaspora and the traditional roles of women in India.
In “Bahu-Beti-Biwi,” which translates to “Daughter-in-law, Daughter, Wife,” movement and music create the transition between characters inspired by women from Gandhi’s life. The piece is influenced by North Indian musical traditions that are brought into a contemporary context. Humor and tension create a platform for scenes of freedom and compromise, desire and longing, duty and love. Gandhi has performed the work around the globe.
The Bryn Mawr community in particular will find Gandhi a mesmerizing performer who entertains while addressing challenging issues regarding the changing roles of women. Free residency activities will offer additional opportunities for engagement (see below).
Tickets are FREE for Tri-Co students, faculty, and staff and are available in the Goodhart Arts Office from 1:30-5 p.m.; in the Campus Center on Wednesday, March 20, from noon-2 p.m.; and at the door. General admission is $20, $18 for seniors, $10 for students with ID and Dance Pass holders, and $5 for children under 12.
ABOUT SHEETAL GANDHI
Sheetal Gandhi is a veteran performer whose career has spanned genres and disciplines for the last 15 years. She worked as a creator and performer in Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion, played a leading role in the Broadway production of “Bombay Dreams” and is featured on the original American cast album of Stephen Schwartz’s “Children of Eden.” Most recently, Gandhi was the choreographer for Los Angeles-based Cornerstone Theater Company’s first-ever musical, “Making Paradise: The West Hollywood Musical.” Gandhi is a 2011 recipient of the prestigious C.O.L.A. grant, awarded by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and a recent APPEX (Asian Pacific Performance Exchange) fellow, participating in a three week international artistic residency in Bali, Indonesia. Gandhi’s solo and group work has been presented in theaters around the country including REDCAT (Los Angeles), Asia Society (New York), Mu Performing Arts (Minneapolis), and ODC Theater (San Francisco) as well as national and international Festivals including Black Magic Woman Theater Festival (Amsterdam), The National Asian American Theater Festival (New York), Bridges Choreographic Dialogs (Israel), Delhi International Arts Festival (India), Festival of Contemporary Dance (Mexico), and more.
Free Residency Activities
(for classes, please RSVP with firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thursday, March 21
Master Class, Pembroke Studio
Contemporary Kathak class which specifically focuses on learning the rhythms and the rhythmic cycles used in North Indian classical music, some technique from this form, and then a short traditional piece. Dance background recommended.
Lecture-demonstration, Goodhart Hall, Hepburn Teaching Theater
In this session Sheetal Gandhi will trace her experience moving from traditional forms to develop into a multi-disciplinary artist and will illuminate her process in making “Bahu-Beti-Biwi”
Friday, March 22
Lunch in Haffner’s Dorothy Vernon Room
For students of the South Asian Women’s club and others interested in an informal meeting and discussion (pick up your own lunch, then join the gathering)
Saturday March 23
Community Class (children and adults), McPherson Stage, Goodhart Hall
Burn off steam in the contagiously fun fusion style of dance that is called, “Bollywood Dance.” Each class offers an injury-preventative warm-up of body isolations, integrated with stretching and preparatory technical exercises for Indian dance movement. Participants will:
- learn traditional Indian styles based on both folk and classical forms
- learn important story-telling skills through dance
- learn choreography to popular Bollywood and Bhangra songs
These Embodied Voices, McPherson Stage, Goodhart Hall
12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
This workshop is based on Liz Lerman techniques, exercises by Simone Forti, and Sheetal’s own artistic process as a multi-disciplinary story-teller. The workshops focus on different ways of pairing text, song and sound with gesture to create meaningful and evocative, full-bodied stories. Participants work together and work alone to source material through improvisation, choreographic and theatrical structures, free-writing, research, and dialogue. They may explore their cultural identities, histories, genders, and spiritual backgrounds as these subjects relate to the development of performance.