A collective of musicians, dancers and writers weave ancient texts, myths and traditions into a recital exploring our connection to old and new homelands. For this production BCD Theatre provided choregraphy and performing services.

“Unique performative experiences and the audiences continue to come in droves” -Rosanna Gonsalves

About the show

Curated by Arjunan and Indu, the work examines the way ancient artistic practices migrate and become part of the culture of new communities.

Inspired by stories of Bhoomi, the Hindu goddess of the Earth, and showcasing the music and dance heritage of Southern India, Bhoomi draws on the talents and ritual practice of local artists to create a work speaking to issues of global importance. 

The performance honours our First Nations peoples and their relationship with Country. Collaborating with Aboriginal author and historian Bruce Pascoe, Bhoomi explores how stories across countries converge, to create shared cultural narratives.

Authenticity and tradition

Bhoomi: Woman and Earth made its debut at the 2019 Sydney Sacred Music Festival. Our team collaborated closely to honor traditional art forms while infusing them with contemporary themes.

As both a performer and one of the choreographers, this production offered me a precious opportunity to reinterpret Hindu narratives and their profound essence. Often, Hindu literature dazzles with its vibrant tales and dramatic twists, sometimes overshadowing the deeper messages they carry.

For me, this piece served as a moment of reflection, a pause to contemplate the sources of our existence—from the nurturing embrace of the Earth to the embodiment of the Divine Mother.

On a personal note...

When choreographing this piece I was reminded of a moment in my life when I was really sad and I had a lot of pressures on me from many fronts. I was sitting on the floor at my parents place trying to gather my thoughts and feelings, too paralysed by my saddness to express myself when my mother walked into the room, just looked and me and immediately embraced me. The warmth I felt in that moment, the psychological safety was everything. This feeling carried me through this piece and I still feel it to this day.

Bhoomi: Woman and Earth is such a work. It is a much-needed attempt to open up the discussion around the gendered, class and caste-related gatekeeping of sacred music and performance. Ideas of purity, of submissiveness, and of the boundary between private and public labour are questioned, even if subtly, and this is always welcome.

Rosanna Gonsalves

Southern Crossings