Project Description

Conversations with Devi | Mandala Arts

Conversations with Devi by Mandala Arts

Female Hindu Mythology through Dance, Shadow Puppetry and Live Music

Book Conversations with Devi


Conversations with Devi is a cross-cultural collaboration between Balinese Shadow Puppetry and Gamelan, Indian classical dance and a Carnatic music orchestra that brings to the forefront stories of the Hindu goddess as she takes on those no-good, power-hungry demons in three, striking tales. Exploring themes of gender identity, and environmentalism, Devi’s reaffirms the power of the feminine and inspires audiences to take action on issues around them.

Produced and created by renowned choreographer and educator Pranita (Jain) Nayar and Mandala South Asian Performing Arts and puppeteer Gusti Njurah Kertayuda, Conversations with Devi can be coupled with customized residencies and educational outreach programs on Indian and/or Balinese dance, music, and arts for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.



Conversations with Devi was an entertaining production with poignant connections to our present day.
Jain reveals an admirable devotion to generational continuity.
Laura Molzahn, Dance Critic, Chicago Tribune
Beautifully merges traditional Balinese shadow puppetry performed by the dynamic and
animated I Gusti Ngurah Kertayudah with Bharatanatyam dance.
Ashley Farganoli, Dance Artist


Mandala South Asian Performing Arts is a Chicago-based organization has been working with audiences across Chicago and greater midwestern communities to foster a transnational world of exuberant exchange and artistic celebration. From Persia to Indonesia, the culture of the subcontinent is fully represented by Mandala’s philosophy of inclusion and collaboration to offer audiences and artists alike access to Asian traditions—with modern flair. Mandala produces community programming, workshops and classes with local and international artists, original works by local artists, and large-scale productions for international audiences.


STORY OF RAM – Bharatanatyam + Balinese Shadow Puppetry

“Story of Ram” brings the a Hindu epic to life with buoyant energy and wit. Delivered through a child-like lens, the warrior-hero and his army of animals dance their fantastic journey — all playfully set to large shadow projections of the Wayang Kulit. Story of Ram is a community-based production that involves dancers from local communities, who learn the work through residency activities in advance of the performance.

DANCING KRISHNA – Bharatanatyam + Kathak with live music

The ancient poetry of god and lover, Krishna, finds endless interpretation in this dazzling play between North and South Indian classical Indian dance and music styles of Kathak dance / Hindustani music and Bharatanatyam dance / Carnatic music respectively, effortlessly navigating strong
percussive energy to soaring lyricism. “Dancing Krishna” unfurls the agony and ecstasy that comes from being in love—through sound and movement. 
Book CONVERSATIONS WITH DEVI – Bharatanatyam, Balinese Shadow Puppetry and Live Music