2018 : Tanashah


Tanashah, a solo by Navtej Johar, explores extremes! Based on the jail diaries of Bhagat Singh, particularly his essay titled, “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, is 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.

Concept, choreography and performance: Navtej Johar
Vocals: Venkateshwaran Kuppuswamy and Madan Gopal Singh

Lighting and Stage Design: Anuj Chopra
Produced by Studio Abhyas / Serendipity Arts Foundation 

Links to interviews, reviews and responses:






Tanashah was commissioned by the Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF), and premiered at Goa, on Dec 16th, 2018