WOVEN Even as a person casts off worn-out clothes and puts on others that are new, so the embodied Self casts off worn-out bodies and enters into others that are new. - The Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, Verse 22 Violinist and theatre artist Anjna Swaminathan's debut ensemble project, WOVEN, brings together original music and poetry to meditate on and problematize ideas of death, memory and loss in Hindu vedantic philosophy. The ensemble features stellar string instrumentalists of various musical idioms ranging from jazz and creative music to klezmer, whose sounds are woven into a hybrid soundscape. Introspective, emotive and expansive, the score deconstructs the microtonal, rhythmic and improvisational vocabulary of Indian classical music and acts as a response to the cultural trauma, disillusionment, and wonder expressed in the poetry.
RAJAS: Creative Force | Ensemble curated by Rajna Swaminathan Song of the Jasmine(2014-2016) | Ragamala Dance (Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy) and Rudresh Mahanthappa Meena's Dream (2013-present) | Anu Yadav | Composer and Musical Director The Nayika Project (2014) | Paige Hernandez and Chitra Kalyandurg | Composer Sannidhi: Sacred Space (2013-2016) | Aparna Ramaswamy (principal dancer of Ragamala) 1001 Buddhas(2013) | Ragamala Dance in collaboration with Wadaiko Tokara Deflect our Light: Articulate a Dance(2013) | The Spilling Ink Project in collaboration with Kirov Academy of Ballet | Composer Samudra: Churning Oceans (2012) | The Spilling Ink Project in collaboration with Srishti Dances of India | Composer Pushpanjali(2011) | Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company | Composer Sacred Earth(2011-present) | Ragamala Dance Ihrah: Sacred Waters(2010) | Ragamala Dance
Meena's Dream(2012-2014) | Research Dramaturg Solo actress Anu Yadav weaves a tale of nine-year-old Meena who wishes her mother could afford the medicine she needs, and Hindu God Lord Krishna who pleads for Meena's help in his war against the Worry Machine. Meena's Dream creates a fantastical world through storytelling and live music, from South Indian classical to indie folk. With music by Anjna Swaminathan, Rajna Swaminathan, and Sam McCormally.
The Nayika Project (2013-2014) | Research and Development Dramaturg Kuchipudi dancer, Chitra Kalyandurg is teaming up with Paige Hernandez of B-fly Entertainment, a multifaceted artist known for her innovative fusion of poetry, hip hop, dance and education to create and produce The Nayika Project. Based around the eight heroines found in Indian literature and dance, The Nayika Projectwill explore the intersection of classical Indian history and dance with modern storytelling, dance and spoken word. This cultural and compelling performance will also present a meaningful depiction of women who are strong, resilient, complicated and relatable.
Gretel(2013) | Development Dramaturg and Co-Director Adapted and Directed by Olivia Brann and Anjna Swaminathan. An innovative take on the age-old fairy tale,Hansel and Gretel, that tells the story of a young girl dealing with a scary stepmother, an absent-minded brother, and an absent father. Set to Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, this puppet-theatre production provides a haunting twist to the children's story, and explores complex themes of motherhood, womanhood, and food - lots and lots of food.