Esplanade Presents

Dance

She's Auspicious

Mythili Prakash (USA/India)

10 Aug 2024, Sat, 8pm

11 Aug 2024, Sun, 3pm

1hr 5mins

(Intermission: None)

Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade

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Synopsis

Internationally acclaimed bharatanatyam artist Mythili Prakash presents the world premiere of this powerful solo performance, featuring a rare all-female music ensemble, a striking work that questions the contradictions and dichotomies of how women are viewed in society.

 

She’s Auspicious is a dance and music work rooted in bharatanatyam. Bold and evocative, the work blurs the lines between Goddess and Woman to explore the intricate interplay between the worship of goddesses and the treatment of women in society. The presentation of this paradox allows the unravelling of socio-cultural myths, stories and values that are beautiful and personal, yet simultaneously deeply rooted in systemic power structures.

 

This work is conceptualised, choreographed and performed by Mythili Prakash, who has emerged at the forefront amongst a new generation of classical Indian dancers. She has been mentored by the iconic Malavika Sarukkai and the esteemed Akram Khan, whose dance company she has been performing with since 2019. She’s Auspicious first premiered in 2021 at the Reflektor Festival in Hamburg, Germany, and underwent further development in 2022 at Pillow’s Lab at the historic Jacob’s Pillow dance centre, and in 2024 at University of Colorado Colorado Springs.

 

“As the dancer, I inhabit the character of the Goddess Devi, who is created by male Gods, generated with their energy and weapons, and programmed to kill an army of demons. In doing this, I seek to embody and linger in psychological states that challenge the ideals of “restraint” that characterize femininity in both classical dance and in society; this mythical narrative becomes a mirror to our present-day reality, connected to questions of power and agency, reflecting my own lived and observed experiences as a woman.” – Mythili Prakash

 

The making of She's Auspicious has been supported by the National Dance Project grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts.

 

Choreography/Dance: Mythili Prakash

Sound Design: Aditya Prakash, Mythili Prakash, Sushma Soma

Music Production: Aditya Prakash

Set Design: Mythili Prakash, Kaavya Matatova, Zak Macro, Lars Davidson 

Vocal: Subiksha Rangarajan

Percussion: Aswini Srinivasan

Vocal and Veena: Ananya Ashok 

Sound: M T Aditya

Lighting Design: Aideen Malone, Jen Cashman  

Mentor: Akram Khan

Theatrical Inputs: Janet Roston 

Rehearsal Director: Jyotsna Jagannathan

Project Manager: Jahnavi Kalyan 

Dancers: Nikita Rao, Jessica Sitaramya, Malini Taneja, Jahnavi Kalyan

Artists on Recording: Sushma Soma (vocal), Aditya Prakash (vocal and percussion), Sumesh Narayanan (mridangam)

Admission Age:
6 and above.
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Artist Information

Mythili Prakash

Mythili Prakash’s innovative vision as a choreographer, coupled with her power and conviction as a performer, sets her apart as one of the most respected young bharatanatyam artists today. Her work is unique: while rooted in the intricate and nuanced language of the classical form, it confronts the socio-political global world we live in today. Mythili is incisive in her approach, questioning cultural and social norms, while pushing the boundaries of her practice of the art form, particularly around femininity and aesthetics. Her creative introspections acknowledge and draw fodder from her experiences as a mother, a first-generation child of immigrants, and the complexity of her identity as a dancer of caste-privilege in India, while simultaneously a female artist-of-colour in the US.

 

Mythili has toured her own solo productions in the United States, England, Scotland, France, Singapore, and Mexico. She was featured on NBC’s Superstars of Dance as a bharatanatyam soloist, introducing her art form to the world. Mythili also had the honour of working with director Ang Lee in the award-winning film Life of Pi, and was also cast as the wife of the titular character. In 2019, Mythili was nominated by celebrated dancer/choreographer Akram Khan as Choreographer of the Future for UK-based Dance Umbrella’s Four by Four Commissions, premiering her solo work HERE and NOW at their festival that year. Mythili is a recipient of the Creation to Performance grant from the Irvine Dance Foundation and Artistic Innovation grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation. She has received numerous accolades from premiere institutions of dance and music in India as well.

 

In 2021, Mythili received the National Dance Project touring grant from NEFA for She’s Auspicious, which premiered in Hamburg, Germany at the Reflektor Festival, curated by musician Anoushka Shankar. The next year, she subsequently created a trilogy of pieces, beginning with AR | DHA, a commission for the 90th anniversary festival of Jacob’s Pillow, and concluding with ONE | ALL for the Festival in Motion, one of the first of its kind, site-specific dance festivals surrounding the World Cup in Qatar.

 

Mythili was also a principal dancer in Akram Khan Company’s Outwitting the Devil, which toured worldwide from 2019 to 2022. Mythili is currently touring her latest production, She’s Auspicious, across the US, Asia and the UK, garnering great acclaim from critics and audiences alike for its artistic merit and thought-provoking narrative.

Date & Time

10 Aug 2024, Sat

8pm

Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade

11 Aug 2024, Sun

3pm

Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade
Tickets & Prices
Standard

Students, NSFs, Seniors & PWDs
(Limited)

Price $40 $32

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