In the name of our ancestors who have survived indentured labor and colonialism, and those who revolted against exploitation, oppression and dehumanization.

Through this ritual, dancers Fazle Shairmahomed and Devika Chotoe follow the footsteps of their ancestors in the fight for decolonization. Guided by the beats and sounds of An3 they set off on a journey towards the past to create healing for the future. The mechanisms and effects from the colonial past can still be felt, and through this ritual they create a joint moment to bring about healing and call for recognition of a shared history.

Photos by Alex Avgud

Anushthan is a decolonizing performance-ritual by Fazle Shairmahomed and Farah Rahman. Performed by Fazle Shairmahomed and Devika Chotoe, with live music by An3. Stage and costumes by Ludmila Rodrigues. In this ritual we keep finding different strategies for decolonization, inspired by butoh, Muslim funeral practices, whirling dance, waacking, and the club scene.

The stage is an open space where dancers and audience is invited to sit close to the action and join the ritual. A seemingly floating altar provides a platform for the priestess (performed by Devika Chotoe) to prepare scents and balms. Meanwhile Shairmahomed whirls and undergoes a ritualistic ecstasy. The costumes prioritize their whirling and waacking motions, with plenty of fluidity and vigor.

Anushthan premiered on October 6th, 2019 at Theater De Vaillant, Den Haag. With support from Fonds voor Podiumkunsten. Also presented at Korzo Theater, The Hague, Feb 16th, 2020.

Creative team: Fazle Shairmahomed, Farah Rahman, Devika Chotoe, An3, Ludmila Rodrigues, and Fred Janssen
Artistic advisers: Junadry Leocaria, Valentina Lacmanovic, Stephanie Pan, Yun Lee, Ria Higker, Damani Leidsman, Deborah Cameron
Anushthan was made possible thanks to: Theater De Vaillant, CultuurSchakel, Cultuurfonds, Fonds 1818, Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie, VSBfonds and Gemeente Den Haag. Read more on fazleshairmahomed.com

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October 6, 2019