A young lady dressed in blue holds an image of a medical diagram of a brain in her left hand, while her right hand is extended outwards as if to ward something off. In the backdrop are grey skies with a stroke of lightning.
A young lady dressed in blue sits on the floor showing colourful images from a picture book. She looks happy. Behind her is a backdrop of dark forest scenery.
A young lady dressed in blue daydreams with her eyes closed and her right hand on her cheek, in front of a backdrop depicting dark grey skies.

Why Runs The Abhisarika

Theatre and Physical Theatre • Storytelling
India • Australian Premiere

What makes the Abhisarika, a type of heroine from Indian Sanskrit poetry, run to meet her lover on dark stormy nights through forests infested by snakes, demons, and other motifs? This picture recitation with visuals in set design, English spoken-word poetry, and Indian dance, investigates her psychological landscape through contemporary neuroscience. Just as in murder mysteries, the storyteller tries to investigate what was happening when the Abhisarika ran out of her house. Just as six blind men describe an elephant, each motif in the set design reveals a fragmented truth about its role in the Abhisarika’s sprint, elucidated in a song. The audience is invited to choose the sequence of motifs to hear their songs and string the performance together.

Presented by: Priyanka Jain

Priyanka Jain (*1985) is a visual-oral storyteller based in Kolkata, India. She has studied BFA at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata (India), MFA at Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste, Stuttgart (Germany), and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at RMIT University, Melbourne. She works across many mediums such as drawing, sculpture, card game performances, artist books, and picture recitation. This is her first show ready for international touring.