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Appeasing Radhika

Appeasing Radhika puts women's writing at the center of this contemporary classical Indian dance and music collaboration.

The Latest Update

Show coming up on 11/19!

Posted on November 11, 2016 by Malini Srinivasan and Dancers

Our Appeasing Radhika Work-in-Progress is on stage on November 19! The performance will be followed by a Talk-back with the artists.

Appeasing Radhika Work-in Progress: Sat, November 19, 2016 @ 6pm. Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Ave, NY NY. Pay what you can (suggested donation $20) at the door only.

Meanwhile, check out Arun Ramamurthy’s new music to introduce Radhika…hear how she blossoms!


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Arun and Roopa work it out!

Posted on October 2, 2016 by Malini Srinivasan and Dancers

A tiny taste of the excitement of being in studio with Arun Ramamurthy and Roopa Mahadevan as they work on new music for Appeasing Radhika…enjoy!

Work…in Progress!

Posted on September 16, 2016 by Malini Srinivasan and Dancers

We are looking forward to presenting the work in progress of Appeasing Radhika on November 19, 2016 at the Rose Nagelberg Theater in Baruch Performing Arts Center. This will be an opportunity for audience members to experience a full run through of the show….and have a talk-back with the artists after the performance. This performance crosses so many boundaries ….we know it will be exciting  new territory for all of us.

Here is an image that says it all…Radhika plays the flute this time round! Stay tuned for audio and video clips of our process.


Appeasing Radhika is a project that brings together Indian classical music, dance and poetry to tell the story of Radhika, the mythological lover of the Hindu deity Krishna. Choreographer/dancer Malini Srinivasan and composer/violinist Arun Ramamurthy collaborate to tell the story; Roopa Mahadevan takes center stage in this new production. Musicians Max ZT, Jay Gandhi and Bala Skandan perform in the ensemble and composer Nivedita Shivraj creates additional music. Playwright Madhuri Shekar and Dramaturge Anjna Swaminathan develop content. The ensemble will create the work between January-October  and present  a work-in-progress of Appeasing Radhika with live music at Baruch Performing Arts Center on November 19, 2016 at 6pm.

This piece is rooted in the Indian classical dance Bharatanatyam, and its sister form of Carnatic music. The instrumentation includes classical Indian violin and mrdangam, as well as non-Indian instruments like the hammered dulcimer.  Together, we will develop a unique aesthetic that is rooted in, but transcends Indian classical music and dance. The dancers and musicians in this piece intermingle closely on stage, at times stepping into the other medium, thus exploring the close link between music and movement.

Malini Srinivasan has been commissioning new music for dance for the past decade. Her choreography expands the Bharatanatyam vocabulary to express connections with diverse musical genres including New Music, Hindustani and Jazz. Arun Ramamurthy has created a body of work based on Carnatic ragas, or melodic scales, but expands their expressive range through dynamic arrangements and instrumentation. Both artists are committed to traditional forms as well as to cross-over works and creative collaboration. The project draws strength from the vibrant, and growing, Indian classical musical scene in NYC.

The performance is based on the controversial 18th century Telugu text ‘The Appeasement of Radhika’ written by Muddupalani. Muddupalani was a Devadasi, a woman artist of the South Indian courtesan community who was both a dancer and a writer. In the rapidly changing political climate in the early 20th century, her work was labeled ‘obscene’ and banned for its frank eroticism by a woman author. This work is today considered marginal and ignored by the dance community, though it provides us with an invaluable link with the Devadasis and our dance tradition.

Muddupalani’s text will be the starting point for new choreography and music that explores themes of love, loss, sexuality, aging and legacy. The goal of the project is to create an evocative interpretation of the text that will pave the way for bringing Devadasi literature back into our understanding and practice of classical Indian performing arts. These performing arts were almost wholly appropriated by the high-caste Brahmin community in the 20th century, while the Carnatic musical canon has excluded any content written by the Devadasi community of women. Performing material from this text is a way to assert the value and relevance of women’s writing and its vital connection to our artistic traditions. Appeasing Radhika will serve as a connection point for artists and audiences interested in Indian culture, mythology, feminism, history and literature.



Project Media

Tejas Luminous Excerpts
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Excerpts from the dance suite Tejas Luminous. Dusk and Evening, composed by Ilari Kaila, are cross-over pieces. In each piece Malini has adapted the Bharatanatyam form to evoke the musical aesthetic. In Dusk, Kaila arranges an Indian raga (melodic scale) to bring out unsuspected harmonies. In Evening, traditional Indian rhythmic patterns are performed by a Western percussion ensemble. Night is composed by Hindustani composer/vocalist Samarth Nagarkar.

Siva’s Grief
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This piece explores the experience of grief through the Hindu deity Siva. Siva finds the dead body of his beloved wife Sati and refuses to let it go. Eventually the body disintegrates, and Siva finds release. Siva’s Grief integrates Bharatanatyam-based movement, raga (Indian melodic scale) with New Music composed by Ilari Kaila.
This piece is performed to live music on piano (Ilari Kaila), percussion (Nick Woodbury), violin (Trina Basu) and marimba (Jonathan Singer). Dance, spoken word and choreography by Malini Srinivasan.

Govardhana Giridhara
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Features: Arun Ramamurthy

The Arun Ramamurthy Trio does an innovative exploration of Carnatic classic Govardhana Giridhara, with an eclectic musical arrangement. Featuring Arun Ramamurthy (violin), Perry Wortman (bass), Sameer Gupta (drums) and guest artists Trina Basu (violin) and Marc Cary (piano)

Start and End Dates



NYC, New York

3 updates
Last update on November 11, 2016

Project Created By

Brooklyn, New York
Malini Srinivasan and Dancers is a group committed to presenting new works expanding the tradition and technique of Bharatanatyam, the Indian classical dance. Each project connects artists and audiences across cultures, bridging the gap between traditional forms and our modern world. Collaborations between choreographer Malini Srinivasan and artists from various cultural and artistic traditions spur…

In Collaboration With

Brooklyn, New York


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