REFUGEES IN THE GARDEN CITY
By Jim Moran
Directed by David Hsieh
One wistful evening in 2001, four friends got together over samosa and chai and reminisced about the arts that they had grown up with back home in India. The notes of the sitar, the tinkling of ghungroos, the strains of the morning aalap, and lines of a hindi play. And somewhere they found the strength and determination to start a group that supports dreamers that practice these arts and want to make them real for the people of Seattle. And Pratidhwani was born. On May 5, 2003, Pratidhwani was incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit in Washington state with the goal of helping fellow immigrants and their descendants from South Asia a supportive platform to practice their arts.
Promote and cultivate performing arts of the Indian subcontinent, by empowering performing artists.
Who we are
Pratidhwani is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural organization based in the Seattle area. Conceptualized and founded in 2001, Pratidhwani was formally established in 2003. At its core, Pratidhwani is a group of professionals of South Asian heritage that are enthusiastic and passionate about the artistic traditions of the Indian subcontinent, and are dedicated to the promotion and cultivation of the performing arts of their homeland in the Seattle area. Pratidhwani recognizes that the performing arts of South Asia encompass a vast and varied number of styles, genres and traditions, and to better organize its efforts, the organization functions as a collection of artistic wings, each with independent missions, but with cross-wing interaction and cooperation. The present wings of the organization are Light Music, Classical Music, Dance and Drama.
Notable Past Productions
Justice for Julie (2018)
Ajab Bollywood Ki Gazaab Kahani (2016)
Yours Mallika (2015)
Pardey Ke Peechey (2013)
KIngdom of Cards (2012)
Darling Tere Liye (2011)
Yam Ne Bana di Jodi (2009)
Jab We Dance (2008)
Two Minutes of your Time: Coming Home (2022)
Saiyan Bhaye Kotwal (2022)
I and You (2018)
A Small History of Amal, Age 7 (2018)
Aathvan Sarg (2017)
Dance Like a Man (2015)
Indian Ink (2015)
Everything but the Paper (2014)
The Banyan Tree (2013)
The Compleat Works of Wllm Shkspr - Abridged (2012)
Mother In Another Language (2011)
Ek tha Gadha Urf Aladad Khan (2009)
Gaare ki Deewar (2008)
Everything Likes A Good Tsunami (2007)
Aath Ghante (2006)
Mehfil (2016 - 2020)
Taal Kraman (2019)
Virasat: Ustad Shabbir Nissar (2018)
Gayaki: Pt. Parmeshwar Hegde (2018)
Prerana: Kuntal Roy,Ramesh Gangolli & Sourish Chatterjee (2018)
Swaradhi: Pt Ram Deshpande (2017)
Parampara: Apoorva Gokhale & Pallavi Joshi (2016)
Diwali Concert (2012, 2014 - 2018, 2021, 2022 )
Festival of Indian Music - Maihar Gharana (2015)
Saadhana: Brandon McIntosh & Ravi Albright (2014)
Natyageet: Manjusha Patil & Mayank Bedekar (2012)
Expressions: Carnatic Music System w Raman Iyer & Laxman (2010)
Gunjan (w/ Taal Makhani a capella) (2018)
Meri Awaaz Suno (2015)
Gunjan: Parikrama (2013)
Gunjan: Pyar Kiye Ja (2012)
Meri Awaaz Suno (2011)
Gunjan: Tumsa Nahin Dekha (2010)
Rock ON (2010)
Gunjan: Dil Ne Kaha (2009)
Gunjan: Rang De Basanti (2008)
Gunjan: Timeless Melodies (2007)
Devi - Trailer
Dancing at ACT's 360 Allen Theatre
Raised illiterate, married and abandoned at 12, then kidnapped at 17, Prafulya embodies the struggles of a girl born to poverty in 1800s India until a chance encounter changes her life forever. Devi [/they-vee/] is the story of a woman who rises to power against the rule of the British, quickly becoming the de facto ruler of the land, or The Devi (Goddess) Chaudhurani (Holder of the Land).
Beloved by her people, the Devi uses her position to run a parallel government that believes in equality, justice, and freedom, proving that a woman can be the protagonist in her own story, despite mens’ best efforts to make her invisible.
Devi is adapted for the stage from Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s Devi Chaudhurani. Published in 1884, this text called for a resurgent India to fight against the rule of the British Empire with strength from within the common people. At a time when most women in India remained behind purdah and did not show their faces to men, Chatterjee’s work about a woman creating an ideal state lead by and for the people was revolutionary.
Pratidhwani brings history to the stage in a new, drama-dance by Moumita Bhattacharya. This is production is presented in English and will feature eight Indian dance forms and 45 performers.
Devi Press Release
Pratidhwani Chooses Their Own Ending for Devi
Family-friendly Indian dance-drama features 45 performers, 10 dance styles,
and 1 woman who must choose between power and influence, or tradition and family.
For Immediate Release–March 14, 2019–This spring, Pratidhwani, ACTLab, and more than 50 Seattle-area artists from the South Asian community will come together to create an extravaganza of drama, costume, dance, and music, as they tell the story of a Hindu woman’s improbable rise to power and return to family...or not.
In the original 1884 Bengali novel Devi Chaudhurani by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, the young, illiterate, and impoverished Prafulya unexpectedly soars to great heights as Devi [/they-vee/], a woman who rises to power against the rule of the British. Despite being beloved by her people, Devi ultimately submits to cultural pressure and returns to her traditional duty as a wife.
In this new, English-language adaptation by local writer/director Moumita Bhattacharya, Pratidhwani gives Prafulya the power of choice—proving that a woman can be the protagonist in her own story, despite mens’ best efforts to make her invisible. Will Prafulya return to her love and traditional life? Will she remain Devi, the leader of a military movement? Or will she fully embrace the religious identity of her new name, and dedicate her life to God?
Find out when Devi performs April 16–May 11 in the Allen Theatre at ACT, 700 Union Street, in downtown Seattle (appropriate for ages seven and up). Tickets are affordably priced from $22-$42, available online at acttheatre.org/devi, by phone at 206-292-7676, or at the ACT Ticket Office at 700 Union Street.
“When Bankim wrote Devi in the 1880s, despite the compelling story of a powerful woman, the ending was driven by Bankim’s principles of a ‘perfect society’ and was predictable,” says Bhattacharya. “There never was a question of where she would go. To me, that was not acceptable. Every human being needs to have a choice. Most importantly, as I adapted the story for stage, I felt like Devi herself was demanding that she be given a right to choose her own life!”
Devi is the fifth collaboration between ACTLab and Pratidhwani; their last dance-drama, Gregory Award-winning Chitrangada–The Warrior Princess, was critically acclaimed as “engaging,” “novel,” and “heartfelt.” Pratidhwani, a Seattle-based nonprofit committed to creating and promoting South Asian arts and artists in the Puget Sound region since 2001, comprises a group of professionals who have full-time careers and dedicate their late evenings to creating art, like writer/director/costume designer Moumita Bhattacharya, producer Amrita Bhandari, and stage manager Akshay Johar. For more information about Pratidhwani, visit pratidhwani.org.
For information or to arrange interviews, contact Christine Bateman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director : Moumita Bhattacharya
Moumita has held various managerial positions at Pratidhwani through the years. She has been President of Pratidhwani from 2015-2018, Artistic Director of Pratidhwani Dance from 2010-2012 and led Development for the year 2014. She has created, produced, and directed many dance shows for Pratidhwani including Chitrangada (2010, 2017), Kingdom of Cards (2012), and Yours, Mallika (2015). Moumita has 35 years of Indian classical dance training in the dance forms of Kathak and more recently, Odissi. In her free time Moumita loves to write and she has leveraged her writing in all her shows, most recently, writing the English scripts for Devi and Chitrangada both staged at the ACT Theatre.
Moumita is a Gregory-award winning costume designer having won the award for Outstanding Costumes for Chitrangada in 2017.
Moumita lives in Seattle with her husband who lends the wind beneath her wings.