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The Maze is a devised artistic creation that fuses text, movement, poetry, music, theatre, and cutting-edge technology to challenge prevailing notions of beauty, femininity, motherhood, and the deification of womanhood. In navigating the complex labyrinth of societal norms and expectations, we seek to explore the political through the personal, drawing from lived experiences and stories of women navigating patriarchy.
Surabhi Bharadwaj’s own journey and the experiences of women around her, opened her eyes to the profound impact of patriarchy on the female body. The work delves into rigid gender roles, inadequate support systems, unrealistic beauty standards, and societal pressures, shedding light on their detrimental effects on self- esteem, body image, and mental health, especially during postpartum. This societal maze, intertwined with hegemonic ideologies, often traps the vulnerable. This is also reflected in the current political climate in the United States, where legislation is used to control women’s bodies and deprive them of their bodily autonomy and parenting choices. This served as a catalyst for the creation of The Maze.
Surabhi Bharadwaj, Artistic Director of Siddhi Creative, is a seasoned Bharatanatyam dancer, choreographer, educator, lighting designer, and arts administrator. Trained under many eminent teachers, she also holds an MFA in Bharatanatyam from Sastra University, Thanjavur and an MFA in Dance: Design and Production from Saint Mary’s College of California. Surabhi has received accolades for her solo performances across India, USA, Europe, and the Middle East. She has worked as the Principal Dancer of Punyah Dance Company and Raadha Kalpa Dance Company prior to moving to the USA in 2015.
Wearing multiple hats, both on the creative and the management side, Surabhi has produced multidisciplinary works including Ashrutam – The Unheard Voice, The Dream Tree, Finding Joy and her ongoing work – The Maze. Her works have been recognized with awards, to mention a few – the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards (The Izzies), the Zellerbach Family Foundation Grant Award, the CA$H Grant Award, and Arsha Kala Chudamani Award. Surabhi has received accolades for her performances across the globe, including rave reviews on publications like New York Times, Broadway World, DanceTabs, to name a few.
Veena Basavarajaiah – is an established movement artist based in Bangalore, an independent performer, choreographer, and director. She has done her MA in South Asian Dance Studies from Roehampton University, UK, and has written several essays and critiques about South Asian Dance. She is also a self-taught illustrator who uses cartoons to ask questions about the art world through her Instagram profile Cartoon_natyam.
Roopa Mahadevan – is a San Francisco-based Indian classical vocalist known for her powerful, emotive voice and collaborative versatility. She leads crossover ensemble Roopa in Flux, directs choir Navatman Music Collective, and sings for leading classical/experimental dancers.
Roopa composed the first-draft of the sound score and will continue to bring live elements of the music into the performance. Musicians/instrumentalists for live performance: Yet to be identified.
Shivaangi Ramesh – Director at Indronovation Labs Pvt Ltd, Bangalore, India. A passionate digital artist with great technical skills, familiar with the CGI, sensors and video mapping technology to create an interactive 3D environment.