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Meet the team

Behind The Durga Chronicles

Priya Srinivasan is joined by long-time collaborator Philipa Rothfield along with Uthra Vijay, an intergenerational Keerthana Women’s Choir, Hari Sivanesan, Govin Ruben and Marcus Salvagno to explore the ritual power of movement, song and storytelling as a means to incite change.   

Learn more about the team behind The Durga Chronicles. 

The Choir

Keerthana Women’s Choir was established in 2004 by Uthra Vijay, singer, teacher, composer. From a small group of five, it has grown to over 30 women from various musical backgrounds who range in age from 25 to 71. The Choir practices formally once a week and has performed across various venues and events in Melbourne and is a staple of the Melbourne South Asian arts scene. They share a passion for music and have created a loving, nurturing sisterhood for women of all ages. They joined the Chronicles of Durga project in 2018 and have grown from strength to strength in each development and private sharing of the work.

The Creative Team

Priya Srinivasan is a dancer/choreographer/writer whose performances work towards social justice issues. She has choreographed several solo, duet, ensemble and large-scale projects internationally and nationally for festivals and has collaborated on major projects with the Hermitage Museum Amsterdam, Berlin Wall Memorial, Rockbund Art Museum Shanghai, Typografia Gallery Romania, Showroom Gallery London, Dakshina Chitra and Spaces Chennai, Adishakti Puducherry, Highways Los Angeles, DCA Darwin, Dancehouse and Bunjil Place. Her large span of intercultural work focuses primarily on feminist collaborations most notable of which is “Churning Waters” a feminist Indigenous Indian work which was selected to tour India for Australia Festival and more recently a series of hybrid online and live performance works with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. She is also the author of the award winning book “Sweating Saris: Indian Dance as Transnational Labour.” She is the co-Artistic Director of Sangam: Performing Arts Platform and Festival of South Asia and Diaspora which she founded in 2019 featuring over 200 artists on funded platforms as a corrective to the lack of opportunities for artists of colour in Melbourne.

Philipa Rothfield is a philosopher working in relation to and through dance on Wurundjeri land. She is a feminist academic, reviews dance, and practises a number of movement modalities, including improvisation, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Yoga. She was a member of Margaret Lasica’s Modern Dance Ensemble. She is the author of Dance and the Corporeal Uncanny (Routledge, 2021), Co-Editor of the Dancehouse Diary, and Creative Advisor at Dancehouse. She is the Chair of the Green Room Awards Dance Panel, and has served as Judge of Dance and Physical Theatre for the Melbourne Fringe Festival. She holds a number of academic positions at Melbourne and La Trobe Universities, currently teaches in Dance, at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne University and is an honorary professor at the University of Southern Denmark.

Uthra Vijay is a classical singer and composer based in Melbourne and director of the Keerthana Music School and Keerthana Women’s Choir. She is a co-curator of Sangam: Performing Arts Festival of South Asia and Disapora. She has participated in several festivals such as Mapping Melbourne, Jaipur Literary Festival and AsiaTOPA and worked nationally and internationally establishing herself as a much sought out artist in the South Asian arts scene. She has worked extensively on site specific intra and intercultural performances with Iranian, Yiddish, Surinamese, Flamenco and Indigenous singers in Melbourne, London, Hamburg, Berlin, Amsterdam, Chennai, Bangalore and Barcelona.

Composer and multi-instrumentalist, Hari Sivanesan of Sri Lankan origin trained in the UK and is a unique representation of Indian classical-contemporary artists of international acclaim. He has pioneered projects in partnership with BBC Radio & TV, BBC Proms, WOMAD, Royal Opera House and Multicultural Arts Victoria and is co-Artistic Director of Sangam, Performing Arts Festival of South Asia.

Govin Ruben is a Malaysian/Australian performance maker, designer and director based between Kuala Lumpur, New York and Melbourne. Since graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA); He has collaborated and created highly successful artworks in dance, theatre, puppetry and installation art in; and with, leading artists from Asia, America, Europe and Australia.

Marcus Salvagno is a Naarm/Melbourne based filmmaker, video artist and media producer. His work largely draws on collaboration-led documentary methodology to produce commercial and artistic work. He has exhibited films and screen-based artworks at the National Gallery of Victoria, ASIATopa’s HuRU hRAa Festival, Mapping Melbourne, the Jogja Biennale, the International Criminal Court at the Hague and SBS (Australia) amongst many others. He is part of the Australian/Indonesian art troupe “Gundul Peyang” which focuses on collaboration between the two countries and in his current role as producer and cinematographer at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), he is responsible for some of their in-house video productions. Marcus is also a hobbyist farmer and produces techno.

The Durga Chronicles by Priya Srinivasan, Philipa Rothfield and Uthra Vijay 
Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 September 2022 
Sat, 1pm & 7pm   
Sun, 1pm & 5pm   



Original Concept and Artistic Director: Priya Srinivasan
Co-Performance Director and Co-Choreographer: Priya Srinivasan
Co-Performance Director and Co-Choreographer: Philipa Rothfield
Composer, Arrangement and Choir Musical Director: Uthra Vijay
Composer, Arrangement and Musician: Hari Sivanesan
Production Design: Govin Ruben
Filmmaker: Marcus Salvago
Dancer and Collaborator (on film): Priyadarsini Govind
Dancer: Priya Srinivasan
Choir: Keerthana Music School
Lead Choir Performer: Uthra Vijay
Choir Performers: Janani Ganeshan, Jayashree Shenvi, Lakshmi Suthakar, Latha Ravi, Mythili Srinivasan, Nandini Venkat Subramoney, Rama Subramanian, Savitha Bingekar, Sharda Symons, Sumathy Raja, Vijayanthi Ravi
Producers: Insite Arts (Jason Cross and Beth Raywood Cross)

Supported by
The Durga Chronicles has been co-commissioned by Arts House and MAV through Diasporas; and has also received generous support from Abbotsford Convent through their Pivot residency program. The Durga Chronicles has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and the City of Melbourne through Arts House.

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