‘Umrao & Me’ is an innovative lecture performance in which the artist shares the personal letters she wrote to Umrao Jaan Ada - the legendary 19th century ‘tawaif’ performer (courtesan) from India.
Negotiating between fragility and strength, power and playfulness, fierceness and hopelessness; the performance reflects on the shifting identity of the female performer and tackles the questions of agency, obsession, male & female gaze, morality, body shaming and politics of art.
“Saint Lucia, the patron of the blind - can be seen in hundreds of paintings smiling subserviently with her eyes gouged out, served on a plate.
They did that because they didn’t see eye to eye to the way she viewed herself.”
Concept, Script & Performance: Nikita Maheshwary
Dramaturg: Paul de Bruyne
Duration: 40 minutes
Korzo Theatre, The Hague, NL | 21 October 2018
Ashoka University, India | 13 November 2018
Shiv Nadar University, India | 15 November 2018
Moving Futures Festival, Tilburg, NL | 11 May 2019
CC Amstel, Amsterdam, NL | 14 - 15 June 2019