Roles of Female artists from the South Asian Diaspora
Patra is a unique Documentary Theatre production where Stage and Screen combines to tell a story. Patra explores the roles, the lives and journey of five female artists who are practitioners of Indian Classical Dance in Australia and more so in Melbourne. Practicing this art form is hard in modern society but in the Arts hub of a Western country, the challenges are much steeper.
Four wonderful and accomplished Melbourne based Artists
Monica Singh Sangwan ( Odissi Practitioner and Principal at Sohamasmi)
Dr Priya Srinivasan (Dancer, Choreographer, Writer, Creator of Talking Dances and Theatre Producer)
Christina Prakanthan ( Bharathanatyam Practitioner, Founder of Natyatharu School of Performing Arts and President of BAAVA)
Janani Venkatachelam ( Kuchipudi Practitioner and Senior Management Consultant at Deloitte)
along with myself Ghirija Jayarraj (Creative Director of Shastram, Bharathanatyam Practitioner, Theatre Producer and Film Maker)
present live performances on stage. Interplaying with the stage, is a documentary that provides is an insight into our lives…our art.. our struggles and our roles in relation to Indian Classical dance and Australia, the country we live in.
Why Patra? It initially started as a venture to work with artists from the East Coast of Australia, specifically Melbourne where I had resided for a very long time. I also wanted to explore Indian Classical dance from the point of view of the diaspora. Through Shastram, through Indian Classical Dance I have constantly been in search of my identity. Why is that a necessary search? Well without an identity you don't believe your own voice. So for me finding my identity was also part of discovering my voice. Something told me I would solidify a few things about myself through this project. I dealt with 4 artists who had something in common with me. Christina from war torn Sri Lanka, Janani who's mother was a strong world renowned artist who showed her, her path in Indian Classical dance, Priya Srinivasan, an artist who grew up in Australia, going through the similar struggles as me and Monica Didi! My go to Oracle, who always seemed to clear my mind.
The result of this journey, yes... I have found my identity and discovered my voice.
Patra is now on Shastram TV