Ekathara Kalari




‘Tanti’ in the ancient Pali language, is imagined as a thread going beyond time; and ‘Dhatri’ is the woman who holds it. In the language of performing arts, this thread can have various meanings. It could be lineage, generations, teacher-student relationships, independent auto-didactic realities, the practice of workshops and training, traditional schooling in performing arts all over the world, the passing on of a craft through family connections or apprenticeship, or the absence of references. In this context, it symbolizes how performing knowledge and practice is transmitted from one generation to the other.

Tantidhatri brings together the performance works of women masters across the globe (both created from self-expression and sacred arts), ranging from Theatre, Music and Dance, to the Visual Arts, Ritual and Spirituality. It brings together a generation of women who now embody life-experience in their works, and who will share these experiences generously with their audiences. Tantidhatri Festival is an occasion to meet these women master practitioners, artists, intellectuals, writers and scholars from various backgrounds and lineages, as well as interact with them through workshops and talks.

Tantidhatri is inspired by Transit Festival created by actress-writer Ms. Julia Varley of the Odin Theatret, Denmark, who is also a founder-member of the Magdalena project. Like Transit and The Magdalena Project, Tantidhatri Festival in India is committed to nurturing an awareness of women’s contribution to the performing arts and to support exploration and research by offering concrete opportunities. Tantidhatri Festival encourages women to examine their role in the future of theatre and performance, by presenting their work, sharing methodologies, examining form as well as content and venturing into new collaborative projects.

Parvathy Baul
Co-founder, Ekathara Kalari
Curator, Tantidhatri



Date Time Event Artist Venue
Wed, Feb 17th 6:45pm - 7:15pm Inaugural Ceremony Performance by
Dimple B. Shah
Ranga Shankara
7:30pm - 8:30pm Rudrayogini Parvathy Baul, Ustad Bahauddin Dagar Ranga Shankara
9:00pm - 10:00pm Theyyam (free entry) Lakshmanan Peruvannan and Group Theyyam Ground
Thu, Feb 18th 7:30pm - 8:30pm Ave Maria Julia Varley Ranga Shankara
9:00pm - 10:00pm Colour Your Heart Sandra Pasini Ranga Shankara
Fri, Feb 19th 7:30pm - 8:30pm The Village Tina Milo, Dijana Milosevic Ranga Shankara
9:00pm - 10:00pm 1, Madhav Baug Revathy Ranga Shankara
Sat, Feb 20th 10:00am - 1:00pm Interactions with Social Change Kamla Bhasin, Khushi Kabir Shoonya
3:00pm - 6:00pm Interactions with Social Change Vandana Shiva, A. Revathi Shoonya
7:30pm - 8:30pm 7 Songs of the Refugee Geddy Aniksdal Ranga Shankara
9:00pm - 10:00pm Who Am I? Sin Cha Hong Ranga Shankara
Sun, Feb 21st 10:00am - 11:15am Interactions with Performing Arts:
The Flying Carpet
Julia Varley Shoonya
11:30am - 12:45pm Interactions with Performing Arts:
Call of the Flute
Shabnam Virmani Shoonya
2:00pm - 3:15pm Interactions with Performing Arts:
Amagaki to Shibugaki,
geography of a training
Carolina Pizarro Shoonya
3:30pm - 4:45pm Interactions with Performing Arts:
We Have A Situation
Helen Varley Jamieson Shoonya
7:30pm - 9:00pm Seaside Gilla Cremer Ranga Shankara
9:30pm - 10:30pm Kaal Anandavalli, Parvathy Baul, Narelle Benjamin Ranga Shankara


Dimple B. Shah

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Kamla Bhasin

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Narelle Benjamin

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Ustad Bahauddin Dagar

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Pelva Naik

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Parvathy Baul Test

Parvathy Baul

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Julia Varley

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Shabnam Virmani

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Kamla Bhasin

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Sin Cha Hong

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Tor Arne Ursin

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Vandana Shiva

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Geddy Aniksdal

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Arundhati Nag

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Sandra Pasini

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Dijana Milosevic

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K. Lakshmanan Peruvannan

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Helen Varley Jamieson

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Dimple B. Shah

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A. Revathi

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Carolina Pizarro

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Khushi Kabir

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Tina Milo

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Gilla Cremer

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RUDRAYOGINIback to schedule

17th February, 7.30 pm

Composers and performers: Parvathy Baul and Ustad Bahauddin Dagar
Duration: 60 mins
Performed in Bengali

“Rudrayogini” is a combination of the sound of the Rudraveena weaving in to the sound of the Abhadooth poetry ‘Charyageethi’.

Rudraveena is an ancient musical instrument created by Lord Shiva. He created this instrument inspired by the grace of Parvathy’s beautiful divine form. This instrument purely invokes the feminine, as she embodies Goddess Parvathy. In earlier times, Rudraveena was known as Parvathy Veena.

Charyageethi is a collection of poetry written by the wandering Yogis of the Buddhist lineage of the 8th century CE. Charyageethi can be translated as ‘Song of the Traveller’. They are the “mother” songs of today’s Baul songs. Charyageethi songs are spoken wisdom, and they express the inner travel of the yogi.

THEYYAMback to schedule

17th February, 9 pm

Excerpts from two stories

Duration: 60 mins
Artistic Direction: Ravi Gopalan Nair
Performers: K. Lakshmanan Peruvannan & Troupe
Performed in Malayalam

The word ‘Theyyam’ evolved from the Sanskrit word ‘Daivam’, meaning God. It is a performance form where the ritual, theatre, dance and music come together to celebrate the ‘state’ that evolved out of the human need for connection to the divine at a time when prevalent caste practices were controlling and exclusive.

The two Theyyams performed in Tantidhatri echo those themes of caste exclusivity and celebrate female heroes who became divine through living their truth and their connection to the divine at any cost.

I. Tottinkara Bhagavati (Theyyam)

Once upon a time in the Nambiar Community lived a young generous woman. She gave birth to 12 children and then gave them away to those who didn’t have children. To ease the immense pain due to separation from her children, she started to read the Ramayana. Soon, she was called by the local king, who punished her severely for reading the sacred text. To demonstrate her loneliness and pain; she picked up a handful of paddy grains and held them close to her breasts. Within moments, they had cooked into rice.

The king gave her only a small cloth to cover her lower body and wrapped her cloth on her head and burnt her. Both her hands were tied, and she was thrown into the river on the side where Muslim boatmen lived. She walked up to the Kakatotto riverside, and her burnt body fell in front of the Muslim boatman, who witnessed her turning into a celestial goddess and becoming one with the sky. Since then, she is called Tottinkara Bhagavati.

II. Muchilottu Bhagavati (Theyyam)

Once upon a time in the Nambiar Community lived a young girl, who was a great scholar. Jealous of her authority in each sacred text, the Brahmins conspired to accuse her of impurity, and she was thrown out of her community. She walked into the forest and started to pray. Lord Shiva appeared before her and declared her divinity by granting her a boon. She asked only for two fire-torches, set fire to herself and became one with the flame.
During her appearance in the Theyyam performance, her eyes are covered with silver eye masks that would protect the universe from her burning gaze.

The traditional Muchilottu Bhagavati performance lasts for four days, with the story on the first three days and the appearance of the goddess on the fourth day. She stays with her devotees for sixteen hours.

AVE MARIAback to schedule

18th February, 7:30 pm

Duration: 60 mins
Performer:Julia Varley
Director: Eugenio Barba
Assistant Director: Pierangelo Pompa
Text: Odin Teatret and quotes from Gonzalo Rojas and Pablo Neruda
Performed in English

Death feels lonely. A ceremony for the Chilean actress María Cánepa.

Three hundred steps in few instants.
Stone skin on my head.
The dead and the transparent flies -
what are they? And what do I matter?
Maybe death doesn’t take everything away.

These verses by the Italian poet Antonio Verri sum up the performance. The British actress Julia Varley evokes her meeting and friendship with the Chilean actress María Cánepa.
Death itself celebrates the creative fantasy and dedication of María, who was able to leave a trace after her departure.

COLOUR YOUR HEARTback to schedule

18th February, 9:00 pm

Duration: 55 mins
Performer: Sandra Pasini
Performed in English and Italian

Colour your heart is one of the first performances Sandra Pasini made as an actress/director in 1992. The name comes from ‘Pinta el Corazon – Colour your Heart’, a song that she hear a shaman sing in a healing ritual in Columbia.

The concert Colour your heart is a work in progress. It is a journey through songs from Teatret OMs productions from 1989 till today. The songs are mainly composed by Sandra Pasini, with texts from great poets around the world. The rest of the songs come from the Italian folk song tradition and are from different parts of Italy.

THE VILLAGEback to schedule

19th February, 7:30 pm

Duration: 60 mins
Conciever and performer: Tina Milo
Director and dramaturgist: Dijana Milošević
Set and video design: Neša Paripović
Music: Tina Milo
Costume design: Maria Marković
Light design: Milomir Dimitrijević
Performed in English

A one-woman show by Canadian artist Tina Milo, whose Serbian heritage infuses this unique and darkly humorous fusion of physical theatre, live music, and film. Drawing on real-life stories, The Village paints a mosaic of the roles modern women are often confined to and explores why they often give up on their true hopes and dreams. This powerfully moving show about an actress auditioning for the role of a depressed woman bravely ventures into the emotional abyss all of us find ourselves in at one point or another, and seeks extreme happiness.

1, MADHAV BAUGback to schedule

19th February, 9:00 pm

Duration: 70 mins
Performer: Revathi
Writer: Chetan Datar
Performed in English

Ek Madhav Baug written by Late Chetan Datar is one of the pioneering plays written on homosexuality and acceptance of gay community. The poignant play tells the story of a 21 year old young boy coming to terms with his sexuality. The play is seen from the view point of the mother of the young man who is reading his personal diary in which he speaks to his mother about growing up gay, conflicts faced in coming to terms with ones sexuality and final acceptance of being a normal person whose preferences may be different but not deviant. The play strikingly brings out the emotions of the mother and son and will leave no soul untouched through its intensity and heartfelt content.

7 SONGS OF THE REFUGEEback to schedule

20th February, 7:30 pm

Duration: 40 mins
Director: Tor Arne Ursin
Performer: Geddy Aniksdal
Performed in English

The performance takes us to China twelve hundred years ago and to the downfall of the mighty T’ang dynasty. We meet the hermit Tu, an old man who is “exiled forever”, in a deeply sad tale of war, famine, death and loss.

WHO AM I?back to schedule

20th February, 9:00 pm

Duration: 60 mins
Performer: Sin Cha Hong
Performed in English

The dance is beyond words, in this piece the dancer is seeking the answer with in, through the movement and sound “Who Am I?”

THE FLYING CARPETback to schedule

21st February, 10 am

Duration: 75 mins
Performer: Julia Varley
Performed in English

"Text is a carpet that has to fly far away." With this sentence as a starting point the demonstration works its way through the past thirty years of the Odin Teatret performances in which Julia Varley has taken part. Few essential explanations accompany the vocal work that exemplifies the passage of the word from the written form to space, from coldness of paper to the freedom of interpretation.

CALL OF THE FLUTEback to schedule

21st February, 11:30 am

Duration: 60 mins
Singers: Shabnam Virmani
Performed in Hindi, English and other languages

Weaving a conversation between the worlds of feminism and bhakti, the political and the personal, the social and the spiritual, Shabnam Virmani will sing and share moments from her personal journey.


21st February, 2 pm

Duration: 75 mins
Director: Julia Varley
Performer: Carolina Pizarro
Performed in English and Spanish

A live working log dancing among theoretical and practical, technical and creative, mental and experiential. A constant dialogue with the viewer, who is invited to know the routes for the preparation of an actress in continuous learning. An actress who travels seeking to develop their own theatrical language, keeping in mind the possibility and the consistence of theatrical and life experience ́s transfer.

WE HAVE A SITUATIONback to schedule

21st February, 3:30 pm

Duration: 75 mins
Performer: Helen Varley Jamieson
Performed in English

Helen Varley Jamieson has previously engaged with the issue of water pollution in her cyberformance in Rio using deep engagement with live and online participants. The work demonstration at Tantidhatri will unfold the process of conducting the cyberformance, with online engagement with the participants from Rio, and talk and discussion with the participants in Bangalore. Find documentation of ‘We have a situation’ at www.wehaveasituation

SEASIDEback to schedule

21st February, 7:30 pm

Duration: 90 mins
Actor: Gilla Cremer
Cello: Patrick Cybinski
Text: Véronique Olmi, translated from French by Adriana Hunter
Director: Michael Heicks
Co-production with Theater Bielefeld and supported by Kulturbehörde der Freien- und Hansestadt Hamburg
Performed in English

Seaside tells the story of a woman who travels to the coast with her two sons. Without pathos, but tenderly and at the same time compellingly, she narrates so that the spectator is immersed into the abysmal desolation and loneliness of a mother who does not see a future for her two children. There’s one thing that the mother really wants: for her boys to see the sea, just once. “Because the sea cannot be a disappointment. That’s simply impossible. The sea is the same for everyone.”

KAALback to schedule

21st February, 9:30 pm

Duration: 60 mins
Choreography and composition: Anandavalli, Narelle Benjamin, Parvathy Baul
Performed in Bengali and English

Drawn from ideas related to the Hindu goddess of time and change, Kaal (meaning time), is the result of a three-year collaboration between Sydney-based dance artists Anandavalli and Narelle Benjamin, each of completely different physical disciplines and backgrounds but both with Eastern influences and interests, working together with Parvathy Baul, singer, dancer and storyteller from West Bengal, India.




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