Red Dress Waali
This is the artist’s response to the brutal crimes against women in India. It looks not just at rape at some kind of final act of violence but at what the artist has termed patriarchal penetration referring to all kinds of subtle and everyday invasions.
It proposes - If her rape is my rape, then perhaps my bliss, freedom and equality can be transferred back to her too.
It is a feminist piece and deeply humanist in the story it seeks to tell. It is currently a non performance of itself or its former versions. The research for this has taken five years and after rejecting several former versions (that have changed with the rapidly shifting gender discourse), the artist is now imploring the audience to carry some of it by witnessing her. Based primarily on “patriarchal penetration” and the layers of embodiment it traverses, the piece reveals a failed experiment of trying to locate the trauma - personal and collective in the body.
The work investigates the fear we hold as women in our bodies, the physicality of rape and the general sense of horror this brings about. It confronts the viewer with the sound of bones and flesh hitting the floor juxtaposed with open and displayed sexuality.
It weaves together the embodiments of archetypal female characters; Warrior, Goddess/ Whore, Mother/Wife.
It seeks to include the men and implores them to join the discourse and the fight too. It uses text and movement and is performed to intimate audiences.
Red Dress Waali Ladki is a solo, dance- theatre piece. It is a devised work using guttural movement, physical imagery, real stories and text in a bare and raw stage scenario.
Conception, choreography, performance: Diya Naidu
Dramaturgy: Sharanya Ramprakash
Movement Direction: Priyabrata Panigrahi
Partners: Shoonya centre for art and somatic practices, LshVa