Urban Kali is the culmination of Devi's doctoral research into Kali iconography

Intercultural hybrid performance: Rakini Devi's art integrates her knowledge of Indian classical dance and her own visual art practice. Picture: Karl Ford

Intercultural hybrid performance: Rakini Devi's art integrates her knowledge of Indian classical dance and her own visual art practice. Picture: Karl Ford

Riverside Theatres will present Urban Kali, at the end of the month – a contemporary multidisciplinary performance that integrates dance, installation and film.

As part of her Doctor of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong, Rakini Devi created the show drawing on her Kolkata origins, classical Indian dance forms and visual arts practice.

“My new work seeks to retain the beauty and mystery inherent in sacred Hindu culture, while also unpicking traditional frameworks so as to relish, explore and stretch the tensions between sacred and secular intercultural performance,” she said. 

Urban Kali celebrates the divine feminine in the context of contemporary intercultural dance by transforming Kali iconography to create new, mythic, contemporary paradigms of female identity.”

It is the fourth dance production by Devi which focuses on the goddess Kali.

“I’m using Hindu iconography as a protest against not just female shame but just generally misogynistic atrocities across India and elsewhere in the world,” she said.

The work has been a slow process for Devi who has spent three years academically researching and developing the show. 

“In one way that has been good because it has given me time to reflect because I am studying and I really have the time to properly develop things, look at it critically and be able to make a choice,” she said. 

This is the first full length show Devi has done in Sydney for a long time.

“Hopefully it re introduces myself to the Sydney scene – it’s a very complete show and depending on how well it is received we will see what happens in the future.”

Part of the show involves a collaboration with film maker Karl Ford to highlight the ideas and concepts that are unable to be presented as a live performance. 

Details: Friday, September 22 and Saturday, September 23 from 8pm, tickets from $25, riversideparramatta.com.au/show/urban-kali/

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