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 in 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 in his production ‘Rizwan’. She has also worked as a movement director and acted in a Kannada play titled 'Naguvaaga Nakku' which directed by Shreekanth Rao. Having collaborated with many regional and international theatre practitioners, Veena has been exploring a new language in dance theatre through works like ‘Mooki’ and ‘Where the Shadow Ends’. Her theatre-based work has been presented on various platforms across India and received critical acclaim.
IN/OUT/IN - 2010
In/Out/In is a new performance created with the collaboration of Indian and German artists to look at boundaries of textual and performative spaces for the feminine in the Indian context. The performance is loosely based on Jayadeva’s Gitagovinda and the central concern is how to go beyond the colonialist, nationalist or patriarchal discourses that accept the marginalization of women as necessary. It focuses on Radha entrapped in a “traditional” space, and tries to explore her various levels of ambitions and interruptions - the “rural” lover and Krishna, the “Pardesi” love object. Moreover, Radha is “rooted” while Krishna is in transit. He is symbolically more representative of “ India” while Radha remains representative of the eternal “Bharat” feminizing the majority of the Indian population. As the performance looks at the temporary possession of Krishna by Radha it also measures the relationship in terms of the woman as outsider and Krishna as insider. Hence, the much-elaborated image of Radha as a multiple victim is subverted and re-read with an acknowledgement of the written text’s phallocentrism and subversion in the performative.
Dramaturge: Santanu Bose Director: Aditee Biswas Sound Design and Music: Sankar Venkateswaran
Performers: Shilpika Bordoloi, Veena Basavarajaiah, Sandra Chatterjee & Felix Bürkle
MOOKI - 2013
Mooki is the kannada word for mute and the piece explores how language creates hierarchy within the framework of society with freedom of expression often being reserved to those with power. Drawing from the experiences of the performers themselves, Mooki looks at how hierarchy is gendered: how those who are dominant are given the status of being 'male' while those who are powerless are 'female'.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.The piece is devised and performed by Akhshay Gandhi, Purnima Kumar, Ravishankar B.T & Vinay Kumar
Directed by Veena Basavarajaiah
NAGUVAAGA NAKKU - 2015
‘Naguvaaga Nakku...’ is a contemporary Kannada play about a mother and daughter caught between the ideologies of two generations.It is the story of a modern urban woman in the corporate world who seeks her identity through her poetry. The play is a unique blend of contemporary movement and realistic text.
The performers of the play are Laxmi Chandrashekar, Rajashree and Vinay Kumar
Movement direction and performance by Veena Basavarajaiah.
Original music is composed by Mahesha Swamy.
The play is written and directed by Shreekanth Rao.
WHERE THE SHADOW ENDS - 2016
‘Where the Shadow Ends’ is a dance theatre play produced in association with Kriyative Theatre (India) and in collaboration with Kristian Al-Droubi (Serbia). The play looks at how myths have turned into history and shaped the moral fabric of societies across the world.The play explores the epic of Ramayana and finds similar stories that exists in Serbia and across cultures. Though the epic acts as the starting point, the play slowly develops into a much more complex layering of socio-political issues of the past and the present. It weaves the narrative seamlessly between the person-hood and the political whilst questioning notions of duty, belief, loyalty, nationalism and patriarchy.Design & Direction by Veena Basavarajaiah Written by: Shreekanth Rao Actors: Lakshmi Chandrashekar, dancer Preethi Bharadwaj, Serbian performer Kristian Al-droubi and actor-cum-lighting designer Vinay Chandra