MD Pallavi
Bindhu Malini


November 7th, 2021

Desdemona Rupakam, is a concert theatre piece that examines feminist narratives within Shakespeare’s Othello and traditional Indian mythologies.
Performed by acclaimed musicians MD Pallavi and Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy, the play is composed of Hindustani, Carnatic, and folk music. The sound design of the play is by one of India’s foremost live sound artists, Nikhil Nagaraj.

The performance text is a combination of musical score, spoken word poetry, and dramatic scene. It has been co-written by MD Pallavi, Bindhu Malini, Veena Appiah, Abhishek Majumdar, Irawati Karnik and also comprises the original text of Shakespeare’s Othello. The play also comprises of poetry by Tishani Doshi. The performance uses multiple forms such as Yakshagana, Harikatha, YellamaNata, and contemporary idioms to tell the story.

Desdemona Rupakam questions the absence of female voices that could have provided a deeper insight into the life of Desdemona and thereby challenging the erasure of any resistance from Desdemona as she is killed by Othello.
The play in it’s elaboration of traditional Indian myth examines the differences of register and agency that women have had in important narratives about them.

Desdemona Rupakam is produced by the Nalanda Arts Studio, an independent art studio working across forms of art practice and research.
It is Supported by Ranga Shankara’s ‘Play the Play’ program.

Nalanda Arts Studio is a Bangalore-based Arts organization focussed on research, scholarship, training, and practice of performing and fine Arts with a focus on collaborations between Asian, African, and Middle Eastern artists and communities.