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Brief Note About the Play

Mooki, the kannada word for mute is the title of the piece that is inspired by Rabindranath Tagore's short story Subha.
 The story revolves around a dumb girl who is ironically named Subhashini (which in sanskrit means one with the ability to speak beautifully). This dynamics in the story is used as a metaphor in the piece to address the idea of freedom of speech
that democracy claims to bestow upon its citizens in this  country.

The movement vocabulary explores sign language and is also inspired by entities like trees, animals and humans that are not
bestowed with the ability to speak. It looks at how language creates hierarchy within the framework of society with freedom of expression often being reserved to those with power. It looks at how the voice of those communities that are often misinterpreted , translated or seldom heard are often categorized as being marginalized. The piece draws from the experiences of the performers themselves and primarily focuses on how we have all endured discrimination based on gender and sexuality in silence.

Brief Note About the Troupe

Mooki is devised and performed by Independent artists of Bangalore. We are a collective of individuals with experiences ranging from Classical music, Engineering, Theater, Ecology, Wildlife Rehabilitation and Dance. We strongly believe in sharing the authorship of the work amidst all the collaborators. We are an open group inviting people to create interesting work in a convivial space. We have earlier worked on a Movement Installation titled H2Zero (2010) at The National Gallery of Modern Art as part of the Carte Blanche initiative and we are currently developing 'Mooki', a dance theatre production since December 2012. The performers of the project have devised this piece and the work finds its intensity and emotion as the collaborators weave their personal experiences in their respective languages and incorporate their memories and expertise into the art work. The performers interpret the story of Subha written by Rabindranath Tagore using spoken text, sign language and movement. The sound scape also comprises of silence, live drums and vocals.

Brief Note About the Director

Veena has recieved mentorship from renowned theatre practitioners like Maya Krishna Rao and Navtej Singh Johar in creating her work titled 'Maya' as part of the Gati Dance Residency in 2009. She has worked as an actor with NSD based director Aditee Biswas on her production 'In-Out-In', featured at the National School of Drama Theatre Festival in 2010. She has conducted movement workshops for various Bangalore based theatre groups like Our Theatre and Indian Ensemble. She has worked closely with Abhishek Majumdar as an actor and movement director on his production 'Rizwan'. Having collaborated with many indigenous and western theatre practitioners and performers, Veena is currently exploring the field of Dance theatre with her latest work 'Mooki' which has already been featured at various prestigious venues in Bangalore.

Brief note about the Collaborators

Purnima.A.Kumar is a trained Bharatanatyam dancer from Shankarananda Kalakshetra, Hyderabad. She has performed extensively in solo and group productions, in India and abroad.She has also been trained in carnatic music by T.T Sita, her grandmother - a renowed carnatic musician. She works in Business Development for a solar energy social enterprise in Bangalore.

Akhshay Gandhi is a theater artist, exploring different aspects of performance craft. His theatre training includes, Theatre making program at Indian Ensemble Theatre, bangalore and Theatre Professionals, Mumbai & Performance Craft at Adishakti, Pondicherry. As the artistic director of watercolorsky theatre, he has directed a full-length play and few informal short theater works.

Abhisheka Krishnagopal is a trained Visual Artist (specialized in painting) and an Ecologist. She is trained in the classical form of Bharatanatyam. She uses her experience in the field ecolgoy and the medium of art to teach children about nature conservation. With over 10 years experience in wildlife rehabilitation, she has been treating and caring for wildlife in Urban areas.

A.N.Vinay Kumar is an engineer who is also passionate about theatre. Vinay Kumar, during his 7 years stint with theater has enacted in many plays with Rangashankara, OurTheater, Watercolorsky and Wemove Theater. He has also been part of Indian Ensemble Training program led by Abhishek Majumdar and Sandeep Shikar for over 2 years. He has also attended the Adishakti basic and advanced workshop.

Ravishankar.B.T is an engineer in the space astronomy field working at the Indian Space Research Organisation. He is a student of Odissi dance and has been testing the waters at yoga, theatre, birding, photography and recently Kalaripayattu.

Shreekanth Rao is a software engineer with a keen interest in theatre. He has received theatre training from Bangalore Little Theatre and also Indian Ensemble.He has trained in Carnatic classical instrumental music on the Veena, and in Kalaripayattu at the Kalari Academy of Performing Arts, Bangalore. He He has trained in Devising Theatre and Performance at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) has performed both in Bangalore and the UK

Arun Sivag is a Bangalore based percussionist, specializing in the Djembe. He is an integral part of Agni- Art for all, an NGO that has been working extensively in empowering street children through the medium of art. He has performed on various prestigious platforms in India and across the world.

Cast & Credits

Director & Playwright – Veena Basavarajaiah

Devised & Performed by Purnima Kumar, Akhshay Gandhi, Abhisheka Gopal,
A.N.Vinay Kumar, Ravishankar Bt & Shreekanth Rao


Drums – Arun Sivag

Vocals – Purnima Kumar

Previous Performances of Mooki

Platform One- National Gallery of Modern Art – January 2013
Bangalore Queer Film Festival – Alliance Francaise – February 2013
Manosrujana- A conference for psychology students at Jain College – April 2013
Attagalata – Bangalore – July 2013
Arts Village – Valley School – September 2013

Upcoming Performances

21/12/2013  Our Sacred Space ( Secundarabad ) 7pm

22/12/2013 Lamakaan ( Hyderabad ) 5-30pm

9/01/2014 Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore, Chennai

Special thanks to TLFCB, Kalari Academy of Performing Arts & Krishnagopal & family