design: sujai

manifestly false

A devised performance piece commissioned by the Prithvi Theatre Festival 2002, "manifestly false" examined Jayadeva's 12th-century "Gitagovinda," a series of dramatic lyrics that use a frankly erotic imagery and the vocabulary of human passion to celebrate the transcendent union of Radha and Krishna.

The text's delineation of sexual experience was deconstructed and investigated obliquely, through song and recitation [both in the original Sanskrit and in translation]; through comparison with the work of the contemporaneous 12th-century Provençal troubadours; through the prism of the actors' personal histories; and through elaboration and commentary.

Lengthy extracts from the work of the 20th-century British playwright Howard Barker confronting the politics of the body and sexual relations were exploited for mutually enlightening / destructive comparisons with the older texts.

In the process, the use of the collage technique created constant paradoxes and discontinuities - necessary ground for the piece's attempt to re-examine the conceptualization of transcendence.


Rohit Bagai
Freishia Bomanbehram
Pushan Kripalani
Karan Makhija
Shailja Mehta
Yamini Namjoshi
Vikrant Pawar
Shanaya Rafaat
Shivani Vakil

lighting design
Zuleikha Allana

music by - Jay Thakker, Pushan Kripalani, and Karan Makhija

produced by
Nadir Khan

directed by - Rehaan Engineer

Return to top ^