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Dev Kahan Hai? / Where is Dev?

An atmospheric work exploring desire and anticipation in Indian classical dance and cinema.

The heroine who waits in anticipation is an enduring archetype of Indian classical dance, painting, and latterly, movies. The heroine, her friend and the absent lover is a widely used convention to create mood and develop narrative. This imagery was the inspiration and starting point for Dev Kahan Hai?

Dev Kahan Hai? was presented in 2012 as part of Classic Cut – an intriguing double-bill that explored revisiting the past and stepping boldly into the new.

The Point, Eastleigh
23 Feb 2012
Double bill with Configurations

Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, London
13–17 Mar 2012
Double bill with Configurations

mac Birmingham
20 Mar 2012
Double bill with Configurations

The Core at Corby Cube
22 Mar 2012
Double bill with Configurations

The Brewhouse, Taunton
27 Mar 2012
Double bill with Configurations

Dansens Hus, Stockholm
14–15 
Sep 2012
Double bill with Configurations

The Roses, Tewkesbury
26 Sep 2012
Double bill with Configurations

The Performance Centre, University College Falmouth
28 Sep 2012
Double bill with Configurations

Laban Theatre, London
4 Oct 2012
Double bill with Configurations

Watford Palace Theatre
9 Oct 2012
Double bill with Configurations

Exeter Northcott Theatre
11–12
 Oct 2012
Double bill with Configurations

Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre, Leeds
25 Oct 2012
Double bill with Configurations

 

Jeyasingh plays elegant games with the question of how an art form can feed off its history without actually cannibalising it.

Evening Standard
 

The whole is a timely reminder of the qualities that have kept Jeyasingh at the top of her game for a quarter of a century.

londondance.com
 

It’s a work unlike any other I have seen, and one that only Jeyasingh could have made.

The Guardian

Creative Team

Shobana Jeyasingh / Choreographer

Shobana Jeyasingh has been creating dynamic, fearless and enigmatic dance works for over 27 years. Born in Chennai, India, she currently lives and works in London. Her acclaimed, highly individual work has been witnessed in all kinds of venues, including theatres, outdoor and indoor sites and on film. Her work taps into both the intellectual and physical power of dance, and is rooted in her particular vision of culture and society.

Shobana’s work is often enriched by specially commissioned music composed by an array of contemporary composers — from Michael Nyman to beat-boxer Shlomo. Her eclectic band of creative collaborators have included filmmakers, mathematicians, digital designers, writers, animators, as well as lighting and set designers.

Lavishly honoured and awarded, Shobana has also made a significant contribution to dance in the UK and internationally through her published writings, papers, panel presentations and broadcast interviews.

Niraj Chag / Composer

Niraj is one of the key modern interpreters of Asian classical and folk styles. Self-taught in music, Niraj developed his style over a number of years culminating in 2006 with the release of his critically acclaimed debut album Along the Dusty Road. Featuring six languages, the album was championed by the BBC, leading to a live set at the Roundhouse as part of the Electric Proms and winning the “Best Underground Act” award at the UK Asian Music Awards. Niraj has built a reputation as a unique soundtrack composer. His work has included Mahabharata and Ramayana (BBC Radio 4) the Bafta and Emmy award winning Power of Art series (BBC2) and the TV series The Age of Terror. In 2009 he created and produced the score for the BBC series Darwin’s Dangerous Ideas. Niraj has worked on many dance productions and plays, including the Olivier Award winning Rafta, Rafta (NT).

Glyn Perrin / Composer

Glyn Perrin studied music in Dartington, York and California. For thirty-five years he has been an independent composer and performer, and also – as required – university lecturer, journalist, translator, foreign language bookseller, computer network administrator, company director, bureaucrat, building labourer, graphic designer, record producer and mentor.

Many of his works mix conventional and electroacoustic means. He has also been a keyboard player and programmer on many non-classical projects worldwide.

He has worked on several projects for Shobana Jeyasingh Dance: Classic Cut, Romance … (with Footnotes), Raid, Transtep and Bruise Blood.

Ursula Bombshell / Costume Designer

Ursula Bombshell studied fashion design at St. Martins School of Art, London (BA Hons) before heading off to work in Paris. On her return to London she set up her own fashion label, which led to costume design for contemporary dance. She has worked on several productions with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance.

Lucy Carter / Lighting Designer

Lucy Carter has worked on many dance productions with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, and is a long-term collaborator with choreographer Wayne McGregor. In 2008 she won the Knight of Illumination Award for Dance for her involvement in McGregor’s choreography Chroma.

Pete Gomes / Filmmaker

Pete Gomes is an artist and director working across moving image and electronic media.

His film and video works navigate varied styles and genres using music, documentary, experimental, and narrative techniques, including commissions for stage, opera and choreography, including four commissions for Shobana Jeyasingh Dance. His film, video and gallery works have been presented extensively including: Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Institute of Contemporary Art, Whitechapel Gallery, Channel Four, Architecture Foundation, Gimpel Fils, Barcelona Centre for Contemporary Culture, Stedelijk Museum, Royal Opera House, Vienna Museum of Contemporary Art, Leeds International Film Festival, Sonar and others.

He is currently researching Improvisation and Filmmaking.

Based in London, he heads the artist run production company mutantfilm.

petegomes.net

Devaraj Thimmaiah / Rehearsal Director

Devaraj trained in Bharata Natyam and other Asian dance forms in Bangalore, India. He has also studied kalaripayattu, yoga, capoeira and several styles of contemporary dance. Having completed the Dance Development Programme at the Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts in India, Devaraj has performed with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance since 2003 whilst also choreographing his own work.

His commercial work in India includes appearances for fashion designers, Bollywood singers and local and national satellite TV. Devaraj has performed in eight productions for the company and has toured nationally and internationally. He also performed in Jeyasingh’s Four Square in Trafalgar Square, and in a collaboration with City Contemporary Dance (Hong Kong) in 2006. He regularly teaches as part of the company’s education team. Devaraj joined Tavaziva Dance in December 2009 for company’s first full-length production Wild Dog and toured spring 2010.

Rachel Shipp / Production Manager Fred De Faye / Sound Engineer

A sonic artist and composer, and member of the People Show theatre, Fred learnt his trade in Paris as a recording engineer, moving to England to become the personal recording engineer of the Eurhythmics.

Through his career he has mixed and recorded albums for the likes of Bob Dylan, The Prodigy, Depeche mode, Tom Petty, David Gray and many more. He has sound designed for theatrical experiences created by Punchdrunk, Burberry, Tods and Philipp Plein fashion shows in Paris, London and Milan. Fred has also composed music for choreographer Garance Marneur, on behalf of Levy Dance in San Francisco, for Alone Together and Pull Me Closer part of the SF International Art Festival 2017.

Touring as a live sound engineer, his broad client base includes choreographer Lee Anderson, Patti Smith, and the KLF Welcome to the Dark Ages. Fred has worked with Shobana Jeyasingh for the past eight years.

Dancers

Kamala Devam

Kamala Devam is a multi-lingual dance artist, choreographing, performing and teaching in the United Kingdom and United States. Kamala grew up training in Bharata Natyam in California with Katherine and K.P. Kunhiraman and received her degree in contemporary dance at San Francisco State University. In the UK, Kamala has toured internationally for 8 years with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, performed for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony with Akram Khan Company and worked with many independent choreographers, including Jose Agudo and Luca Silvestrini. She has collaborated with choreographer/dancer Seeta Patel on their multi award-winning dance film The Art of Defining Me (2013) and toured their duet works and her solo Fretless throughout the UK and US. Kamala is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of East London and an internationally commissioned choreographer for university and youth dance companies. She formed Kamala Devam Company in 2016, supported by the Arts Council England.

kamaladevamcompany.com

Rathimalar Govindarajoo

Rathimalar Govindarajoo, Malaysia’s leading dancer, specialises in Odissi, Bharata Natyam and contemporary dance. Rathi, a principal dancer with Sutra Dance Theatre partnered Ramli Ibrahim (AD of SDT) in numerous productions. She has performed in SJD’s earlier works from 2002 to 2006 – Phantasmaton & [h]Interland (2002/3), Transtep (2004), Flicker & Transtep 2 (2005) and Exit No Exit (2006) – and has toured extensively throughout Britain and Europe, performing these works, returning to SJD in 2011 for Configurations.

Rathi has received Marie Claire’s Women of Style & Substance Award (2011) and she was named Watson’s Extraordinary Woman in 2013. She is also an established choreographer; she was nominated for best choreography at the 2009 BOH Cameronian Arts Award, and her work Panjara (2012) has also received wide praise. She now works on a freelance basis, while also choreographing, teaching and conducting rehearsals at Sutra Foundation Malaysia.

Sooraj Subramaniam

Sooraj Subramaniam began training at the Sutra Dance Theatre, Malaysia, in Bharatanatyam, Odissi, classical ballet and contemporary dance forms. He graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Performing Arts (Dance) from the Western Australian Academy for Performing Arts.

Since 2007 Sooraj has been working in the United Kingdom, principally with Srishti – Nina Rajarani Dance Creations, and also with Akademi, Balbir Singh Dance Company and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance, performing across the UK and Europe. Currently he lives in Belgium and works as a freelancer.

Sri Thina Subramaniam

Sri Thina began training in 1988 at the Temple of Fine Arts, Malaysia. Her exploration in the arts began with Bharata Natyam under Vasuki Sivanesan and Shyamala Narayanan and later Odissi under Geetha Sankaran Lam. She is currently training with internationally renowned soloist, Mavin Khoo, and recently presented a critically acclaimed solo performance in Malaysia.

She has performed at numerous dance dramas and productions internationally over the last 10 years. During this time she worked with a team of choreographers and staged The Bullock Cart Track a productions with 80 dances in 2006. She has also studied Kathak, Bollywood and folk dance, as well as developing other creative skills in design, painting and drawing.

Devaraj Thimmaiah

Devaraj trained in Bharata Natyam and other Asian dance forms in Bangalore, India. He has also studied kalaripayattu, yoga, capoeira and several styles of contemporary dance. Having completed the Dance Development Programme at the Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts in India, Devaraj has performed with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance since 2003 whilst also choreographing his own work.

His commercial work in India includes appearances for fashion designers, Bollywood singers and local and national satellite TV. Devaraj has performed in eight productions for the company and has toured nationally and internationally. He also performed in Jeyasingh’s Four Square in Trafalgar Square, and in a collaboration with City Contemporary Dance (Hong Kong) in 2006. He regularly teaches as part of the company’s education team. Devaraj joined Tavaziva Dance in December 2009 for company’s first full-length production Wild Dog and toured spring 2010.

Parshwanath Upadhye

A young versatile Bharatha Natyam dancer, prestigious ‘Natya Mayura’ awardee Parshwanath Upadhye has carved out a niche for himself today, as one of the most sought out male Bharatha Natyam dancers in India. Parshwanath, born to Shantinath Upadhye and Prema Upadhye, Jain priests of Chik Basadi, Belgaum, India,has won 3 national level dance competitions and is one of the youngest to become ‘A’ grade artist of Bangalore Doordarshan Kendra. He is an empaneled artist of Indian Council for Cultural Research.

Parshwanath is a Black belt in Karate and state level swimmer and a trained carnatic singer and holds a masters degree in Kannada Literature. He has completed his Arangetram, Vidwath and Alankaar Exams under the able guidance and tutelage of Guru Shri Ravindra Sharma. From 2002 onwards Parshwanath has continued his learning under Shri Kiran Subramanyam and Smt.Sandhya Kiran,at Rasika Academy of Performing Arts,Bangalore. Parshwanath has worked with many reputed dance companies in India and abroad. Currently he trains students and performs under his dance school ‘Upadhye School of Dance’ at Bangalore.

Nikki Bakolis (Apprentice Dancer)

Credits

Dev Kahan Hai? / Where is Dev? was co-commissioned by ROH2 at the Royal Opera House and The Point, Eastleigh. Co-production with ROH2. The music commission by Niraj Chag is supported with funds from PRS for Music Foundation. The UK tour was supported by The Leche Trust.
Photos by Chris Nash