Dev Kahan Hai?

Dev Kahan Hai? /
Where is Dev? (2012)

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 and painting. The heroine, her friend and the absent lover is a much used conventional structure to create mood and develop the dance narrative. The imagery that is used to create such a scene has been the inspiration and starting point for this dance work.

The focus that the classical dance places on the distance between the object of desire and the desiring person has a potency and artistic tension that a satisfying resolution might be hard pressed to match. The withholding of fulfilment and the idealisation of desire in its own right has been exploited in countless Indian films where the yearning distance between lovers is rarely resolved with an on-screen kiss. Indeed the extreme theatricality of classical Indian dance has left its mark of Indian cinema – the early screen stars were often also stars of the classical dance world.

Desire and the anxiety that accompanies anticipation, however, are not the monopoly of classical convention only. They propel us more than ever now – although we seldom articulate the object of our desires with as much grace or singularity as did the heroine of old. On the other hand the classical heroine might have relished the multiple outlets for both desire and the desired that we enjoy now.

Dev Kahan Hai? / Where is Dev? was presented in 2012 as part of Classic Cut – an intriguing double-bill featuring revisiting the past and taking a bold step into the new.

+ Watch the Classic Cut trailer
+ View Classic Cut Programme – Feb 2012
+ View Classic Cut Programme – Sept 2012


  • “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”

  • “Shobana Jeyasingh makes a jubilant return to form with Classic Cut”

    The Guardian

  • “Fierce, modern energy… pure pleasure” 4 stars

    The Guardian

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

    The Guardian

  • “Energy with intelligence… a classic” 4 stars

    Evening Standard

  • “As modern as tomorrow”

    Evening Standard

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

    Evening Standard

Creative Team

  • Shobana Jeyasingh
  • Niraj Chag
  • Glyn Perrin
  • Ursula Bombshell
  • Lucy Carter
  • Chris Nash
  • Devaraj Thimmaiah


  • Rathimalar Govindarajoo
  • Sooraj Subramaniam
  • Devaraj Thimmaiah
  • Parshwanath Upadhye