Tanashah, a solo by Navtej Johar, explores extremes. Based on the jail diaries of the revolutionary Bhagat Singh, particularly his essay Why I am an Atheist, it examines the resolve of a young man to walk to the gallows with searing clarity, un-sublimated by religious doctrine or idealist philosophy. The impending moment of his youthful death almost seems to embolden him, propel him unto that final moment with a fierce veracity. Juxtaposed against this fierceness of a man tempting death, will be a padam, an amorous song, that talks of a lover’s unbearable longing and unacceptable separation from his beloved.

Both the narratives—the powerful ardour of a revolutionary and the unbridled desire of an impassioned youth—dark, masculine, uncompromising, and almost heckling in nature, will be somatically interwoven in search of poised resolve in the finality of awaited death/ consummation. With the twin claims of unequivocal freedom and pleasurable repose or ‘sukha’, playing at the core of these two full-blooded expressions respectively, the aim of the work will be to bring both courage and desire on the same register.

Images courtesy Lumiere Project


Curated by Ranjana Dave Concept, Choreography and Performance Navtej Johar  Vocals Madan Gopal Singh and K. Venkateshwaran Lighting and Stage Design Anuj Chopra Costumes Diwas Gill Assistant Simrat Dugal Sound Engineer Deepak Samson Photography Anshuman Sen Scale Small Year of Commission 2018

All 2019 Grants