'The Maze' is a creation that utilizes text, movement, poetry, music, theater, and technology to challenge conventional notions of beauty, femininity, motherhood, and the idealization of womanhood. Drawing inspiration from my lived experiences and the stories of women who are navigating patriarchal structures, the piece aims to explore the political through the personal.
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’. Discussions about the female body and agency at the legislative level often disregard individual experiences. I aspire for this work to redirect attention to the personal stories, fostering dialogue within the familial relationships, professional spaces, and ultimately those influencing policy-making. These conversations often serve as the catalyst for broader societal changes.
Co-created in collaboration with Veena Basavarajaiah as the Directer, this work was developed at two residency programs - RAW at SAFEHouse and at Studio 210 Summer Residency at Deborah Slater Dance Theater during which Roopa Mahadevan, our musical collaborator joined us.
‘Finding Joy’ is a work that illuminates the beauty of the ordinary. Although seemingly straightforward, the work attempts to dismantle the hierarchical structures in the creative process while exploring individual experiences of navigating the modern world in pursuit of happiness.
Additionally, this work strives to expand boundaries of faith, shifting the focus from religious to cultural in Bharatanatyam, a dance form that is rooted in Hinduism. By exploring and sharing elements common to our day-to-day lives, this work aims to bridge the gap between the art, artist and the audience.
The movement explorations for the first iteration was created in collaboration with the students of Siddhi Dance Academy through candid conversations and improvisations that drew from their lived experiences. The students were encouraged to express their ideas, voice disagreements, and question without inhibition, fostering a collaborative and fun environment which is welcoming of creative freedom.
Our very first dance-theater production directed by Surabhi Bharadwaj showcasing the students of Siddhi Dance Academy.
A fictional work that explores climate change and its effects through a dream worlds engages audiences of all ages and cultural backgrounds. The work promotes sustainable living in a fun way through the voices of the next generation.
A cast of 60 dancers presented this work to live music at the Kala Siddhi Dance Festival in May 2022 at the Dougherty Valley performing art center, San Ramon, CA.
A dance- theater production premiered at the ODC Theater, San Francisco in November 2019. The production highlighted the stories of the Indian hereditary artists who cultivated the performing arts through several generations. It also acknowledged that we are practicing an appropriated art form.
It is important to note that as privileged artists, practicing an art form that was appropriated from the hereditary artists, there is a greater responsibility in what stories we tell through this art. Performing stories of others cannot be equated to representation of their lives. Any amount of research will not help in understanding their lived experience and therefore, the stories get misrepresented causing more harm to the marginalized community. The marginalized communities carry with them a history of trauma, appropriation and violence. It is unjust if they are reduced to mere stories. This work will not be presented again but Siddhi Creative acknowledges the community that came together to make this work.
Surabhi Bharadwaj has been showcasing her unique style of movement through a series of solo recitals. She has made her mark by performing at National and International venues across India, USA, and Europe at many prestigious organizations and dance festivals.
Surabhi's trade mark dance is the Aadu Pambe which received critical acclamation from several publications including New York Times, Broadway World, DanceTabs, and more...
A creative series consist of traditional flavors of Margam directed and performed by Surabhi Bharadwaj, performed at the Nehru Centre in London and at Le Mandapa (Centre Mandapa) in Paris