Taking Chances with Art
After 16 seasons of bringing classical Indian art performance to Oregon, Hillsboro-based Rasika took a leap forward last year with Jayanthi Raman’s production of Duality: An Immigrant Experience. This innovative performance was supported by a Creative Heights grant from OCF.
“The Creative Heights grant is all about challenge. Artists want to show somebody else. My vulnerability is what I have to showcase here.”
Rasika Director of Education & Outreach
The Creative Heights grant is all about challenge,” says Raman. With this in mind, she wrote about one of the hardest things for her to discuss: herself. “Artists want to show somebody else. My vulnerability is what I have to showcase here.” Told through classical Indian dance with English subtitles, Duality is Raman’s story of immigrating to Oregon 30 years ago from the city of Chennai in eastern India. With 16 dancers, the performance depicts a young woman’s struggle in a new country rom the homesickness and the striving to come into her own, to the triumph of becoming part of her adopted home.
Raman’s personal story had a wide impact when performed in spring 2017 at the Newmark Theatre. “I remember people after the performance coming up to me and saying, ‘You know, that girl — that was me,’” she says. “This performance moved them because they connected with the character and their lives being portrayed in bits and pieces.”
Thanks to the show’s success — as well as a community grant from OCF — Raman is taking Duality on the road to rural Oregon in 2018.