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Songs for Many Lives

Through a grant from the Creative Work Fund, Roopa and her collaborator, Sruti Sarathy, are creating Songs for Many Lives: a set of new Carnatic compositions that address diasporic identities and histories of South Asian immigrants, particularly those in the Bay Area. This project, made possible in partnership with ASATA, has been eye-opening and inspiring as they study the radical history and many untold stories of their South Asian American lineage. With video and storytelling, they hope to innovate on what a live Carnatic concert feels like, as well as what it sings about and celebrates. This work-in-progress will be one of many in which they share their new music with audiences, with a projected Bay Area premiere in 2025.

Rogue Gestures

Roopa is a vocalist and composer for Nava Dancer Theatre's Rogue Gestures.  Led by Nadhi Thekkek, this project employs the classical vocabulary of Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music in innovative ways to examine the labor of South Asian immigrant women. The production highlights the worlds, themes, and emotions of the women who came before them, as well as the questions they must ask themselves now as they strive to belong and build a home in America.

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Inspired by the resistance revival movement in gospel and the devotional poet-saint musics of India, this project explores themes of surrender, freedom, self-expression, healing, transformation, and more through the synergy of African-American gospel music and Indian devotional traditions, with a vision of greater cultural solidarity and communion for these communities in the American diaspora.

Spring Revival

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