‘Nava’ explores the stories of 9 urban transwomen through the 9 rasas. The performers take the stage to explore the Navarasa boxes and through their performance, unbox, expand, challenge and defy fixed notions of what constitutes the Navarasa and who can be its Nayakis. ‘Nava’ interrogates what 'performance' means as the actors have never performed on a theatre stage before, but understand and use performance in diverse ways in their lives. Therefore, when they perform on stage, it has to be on their terms - the stage must expand to accommodate their understanding of performance and not the other way around. Through their telling, they provoke, question, inform, challenge and expand dominant ideas of Haasya, Adhbuta, Bhibatsa, Krodha, Shrungara, Bhaya, Veera, Karuna and Shanta. They bring their bodies, stories and voices which have been deliberately silenced and willfully ignored, to reclaim their rightful place – the centrestage.
‘Nava’ is the result of a workshop collaboration between Aravani Art Project and Dramanon, Bengaluru. This project is supported by the India Foundation for the Arts, under the Project 560 programme. The play is in Kannada with English Summary Titles.