Divya Kasturi Company

To Varnam With Love

Ages 5+
Fri 16 Sep
Doors / box office open: 7:10pmShowtime: 7:30pm
Approx 1 hr (no interval)
Pay What You Decide
A story of unsettling timely relevance - about being separated from those we love. Obsession, devotion, commitment & rejection are untangled as exquisite performer Divya Kasturi reveals the 'Varnam'; a pièce de résistance of the Bharatanatyam (classical South Asian dance) repertoire.
Personal & arresting, this dynamic tale attracts a breadth of audiences and captures artistic lineage, historical nostalgia & reverence for tradition via song, humour, dolls, projection & soul-soothing South Asian/Western choreography.
Inspired by Saskia Kersenboom’s book ‘Word, Sound, Image’ (1995) and Chitra Sundaram’s performance ‘Moham – A Magnificent Obsession’ (2003). Created as part of The Place’s research and development programme Choreodrome 2017.

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Pay What You Decide logo landscape colour with BT logo

Pay What You Decide!

This is a Pay What You Decide event which means you choose what the show is worth to you! You can decide what you would like to pay now by adding a ticket with a value to your cart, or you can pay after you have seen the show at Barbican Theatre (cash or card).
Looking around at other events going on in the city, we estimate that 1 ticket to similar events would cost £15.
There is no ‘right’ answer, we are not attempting to lead you to a specific figure. You can pay this suggested amount, less than this or more than this. You can even pay £0 for your ticket.
Reserved seating is in place
Seats B5 & B7 are wheelchair accessible, if you require these seats please add 'access member' (here) to your account and you will have access to these. Please let us know of any access requirements you may have, including whether you would like the seat removed.
Both rows A & B are level access
If you have any specific access requirements (for example wheelchair access) please leave details in the comment box when placing your order or email our Audience Experience Manager, Robyn, at info@barbicantheatre.co.uk and she will arrange this for you.
Audience guidance / trigger warnings / safe space
Age Guidance: ages 5+
Emotional / trigger warnings: none anticipated
Health warnings: none anticipated (no light or strobe effects used) 
Barbican Theatre is a safe space - safe to be who you are, regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, age, gender, identity, or sexual orientation.
Reviews & Critical Acclaim
" Divya Kasturi dancing in her living room with sparkling poise" theguardian.com
"Kasturi springs into the air and whirls through the space with joy" londondance.com
"Clear articulation...sharp focus and perfectly enunciated gestures...a multilayered examination of...identity" Irish Times
"Engaging and powerful - our audience were entranced. Divya & Devi are mistresses of their art... seeing Bharat Natyam performed with a live musician is a rare and transformative experience" TrestleTheatre.com
​"The two pieces, Darshan and Now Here, are contrasting in their presentation, conceptualization and aesthetics, the common thread amongst them is the solid classical bharatanatyam foundation vividly articulated in both the pieces." Times Of India
"Divya Kasturi was a picture of confidence in her Kathak mode." The Hindu, India
"Gradually, the stage space morphs into a geographical and emotional map." Pulse UK
"Kasturi has perfectly mastered her craft and, besides investigating the nature of identity through personal memories, imposed and chosen attitudes". Confluence, UK
"Repetition and development worked well as a method for exploring memory and the piece was structurally secure". The Place (Resolution Review)
"Divya Kasturi is undeniably, one of the better accomplished dancers among her contemporaries today." The New Indian Expresss
"With the rapid footwork and butterfly hands of her chosen form, Kasturi took us through a series of “movement memories”. London Dance
​"Divya offered an insight into the vibrant traditions and new directions in South Asian dance." Deccan Herald
Tickets

Pay What You Decide!

This is a Pay What You Decide event which means you choose what the show is worth to you! You can decide what you would like to pay now by adding a ticket with a value to your cart, or you can pay after you have seen the show at Barbican Theatre (cash or card).
Looking around at other events going on in the city, we estimate that 1 ticket to similar events would cost £15.
There is no ‘right’ answer, we are not attempting to lead you to a specific figure. You can pay this suggested amount, less than this or more than this. You can even pay £0 for your ticket.
About Divya Kasturi
Divya Kasturi is a multifaceted dance practitioner with more than three decades of performing experience. She is trained in two South Asian dance styles of Bharatanatyam and Kathak. She is also trained in Western contemporary dance and has studied choreography modules at masters level.
Divya Kasturi is also a classical vocalist. She has worked with Sir Paul McCartney and Nitin Sawhney in the UK. She has also lent vocals for various albums and films in India.
Divya Kasturi’s work has been seen all over the world including in New York, Sydney, Paris, and Mumbai. She has performed in Theatre de Complicite’s acclaimed production ‘A Disappearing Number’ which was broadcast through NT live series worldwide in cinemas. She has also worked in Indian television media spanning a portfolio of tasks including program anchoring, conceptualising, directing and presenting a dance learning series for kids. She has also performed for the BBC. She is currently a QuestLab artist with Studio Wayne McGregor.
Creative & Production Team
Choreography and performance
Divya Kasturi
Dramaturgy
Chris Fogg
Dramaturgy and movement vocabulary
Chitra Sundaram
Video design
John-Marc Gowans
Music
‘Mohamana’ Varnam, composed by Ponnaih Pillai (b.1804)
Additional composition, vocals and instrumental: ‘Chitravina’ Ganesh
Thank you to:
Dr Avanthi Meduri, Smt. Nandini Ramani and Nina Head
Venue Info 
Barbican Theatre
Castle Street
The Barbican
Plymouth
PL1 2NJ
Situated behind the Mayflower Visitor Centre just off the main Barbican road (opposite the 'Prawn' and Mayflower Steps.
info@barbicantheatre.co.uk
Your Visit FAQs (opens in a new tab) - incudes parking, access and Pay What you Decide ticket info.
Seating
Reserved seating is in place
Seats B5 & B7 are wheelchair accessible, if you require these seats please add 'access member' (here) to your account and you will have access to these. Please let us know of any access requirements you may have, including whether you would like the seat removed.
Both rows A & B are level access
If you have any specific access requirements (for example wheelchair access) please leave details in the comment box when placing your order or email our Audience Experience Manager, Robyn, at info@barbicantheatre.co.uk and she will arrange this for you.
Covid 19 Safety 
The health, safety and comfort of our audiences, colleagues and performers are very important to us.

Before you arrive

We have a number of measures in place to ensure your comfort and safety.
Enhanced hygiene procedures are in place which include thorough cleans between performances and our ReBels training sessions. We have increased the circulation of fresh air throughout the building so it might be cooler than you are used to. You may want to bring an extra layer, just in case. Hand sanitising stations are positioned throughout the public spaces for audience members and ReBels training members to use and we ask that you do so frequently.
We continue to monitor the latest guidance from the UK Government and the team here will continue to wear face coverings in all areas of the theatre.

When you arrive

Whilst we encourage members of the audience to continue to wear a mask we understand that more and more people are making the decision not to so we would like audiences to be aware that people sitting around them may not wear a mask throughout. If you are concerned about this please get in contact with our Audience Experience Manager Robyn who can discus options for seating that will help you feel more safe.
The Barbican team will all wear face coverings / shields (unless medically exempt) and are also regularly lateral flow tested. This includes our practitioners, core team, the team front of house and back stage.

Social Distancing

Barbican Theatre largely programmes one night performances, with a capacity of either 110 or 140. Due to this programming model at present we are unable to offer socially distanced performances. Please get in contact if you would like to discus seating options for any upcoming events and where possible we will find you an area in the auditorium with the most distance for other audience members.
#StaySafe

Pay What You Decide

This is a Pay What You Decide event which means you choose what the show is worth to you! You can decide what you would like to pay now by adding a ticket with a value to your cart, or you can pay after you have seen the show at Barbican Theatre (cash or card).
Looking around at other events going on in the city, we estimate that 1 ticket to similar events would cost £15.
There is no ‘right’ answer, we are not attempting to lead you to a specific figure. You can pay this suggested amount, less than this or more than this. You can even pay £0 for your ticket.

Friday 16th Sep 2022

7:30pm