February, 18th 2024

KAAFI – Dance Theatre by Nirali

“Kaafi” is a dance theatre production that explores the multifaceted nature of blindness, both physical and metaphorical, through the lens of the character Gandhari from the Indian epic, Mahabharata.

The performance uses the form of Bharathanatyam to delve into themes of ideals and examples, conformity, oppression, the roles assigned to a woman, and the consequences of our choices. Kaafi contextualises evocative political poetry to narrate the story in the nostalgic memory of Gandhari, her absurd choices, and examines the unseen forces that dictated it. The performance imagines and weaves an intimate tale of her reasons and feelings. A haunting voice that cursed her to perpetual darkness; shackled by the multiple roles of a daughter, wife, mother, and queen, that competed and tore her apart; her relationship with her only kin; her participation and perpetrating of the oppression and violence and an obscured vision of what her life could have been.

Kaafi becomes a mirror reflecting the universal struggle of every woman across time and space. It explores the perpetual tension between aspiration and reality that is predestined for every woman; aspiring to be ideal but perennially falling short—forever insufficient, yet infinitely compelling. Through a combination of dance, symbolism, and internal monologues, the performance invites the audience to reflect on how we navigate the intricacies of our existence, condition of our life and the act of seeing, constantly tugging at the personal question and political state of affairs.

Watch the trailer here