AGNI: Conceived and choreographed by Navia, Agni is a powerful conceptual piece that explores the sacred element of fire in all its forms and manifestations – as an integral aspect of nature, as a divine force in the cycle of creation and destruction and as a metaphor for human emotions and wounds. In this three-part performance, Navia likens the ferocious flames of Agni with the raging emotional fire of anger, grief and hate that exist within us. Punctuated by classical nritta interludes and performed to recorded music, the three-part performance represents an inward journey that flirts with the boundaries between abstract and classical, personal and universal and physical and emotional. Drawing from metaphysics, mythology and personal experiences, Navia fearlessly plunges into dark terrain of the human heart where our deepest hurts and prejudices lie. Through the course of the performance, ‘Agni’ comes to symbolise a purgatory where we confront our inner demons and emerge phoenix-like, renewed and healed. Ultimately, the question posed by Agni is whether we let the destructive fire of anger consume us or transmute its intensity to create ourselves anew. Praised by critics for its fiery presentation, its thematic pyrotechnics, and Navia’s original choreography, this piece melds classical dance with contemporary emotions, in a compelling and nuanced way. Press “..Punctuated with nritta interludes and performed to recorded music, the piece was an impressive testimony to choreographic and aesthetic acumen.” - Madhavi Ramkumar, The Hindu “…However, the best was probably saved for the last as Navia ended the programme with a scintillating thematic presentation called Agni…. As she culminated her performance with this fiery thematic presentation, she left the audiences asking for more…” - Deccan Herald, Bangalore THE QUEST UNSAID: In this classical performance, Navia tells the age-old story of Karna from the Mahabharata with a universality that not only makes the mythological character come alive, but makes him relatable and deeply interesting to present-day audiences. Skillfully blending a mixture of original English poetry, soulful classical music and ancient Tamil poems, Navia weaves a narrative that is as timeless as it is contemporary – the tale of our quest for identity. Through her anguished, dynamic and sensitive portrayal of Karna, Navia asks the searing questions that have haunted humanity through the ages – who am I and where do I belong? Through the course of performance, the story of this brave, alienated warrior becomes a metaphor for all those who have been abandoned and orphaned as children. The piece also echoes our universal struggle to belong, fit in and be accepted. A rich classical production, The Quest Unsaid is a thoughtful exploration of identity and personhood, featuring a rare combination of traditional Bharatanatyam, ancient myths and legends and contemporary English spoken word poetry. AMARUSHATAKA: Navia uses old, classical literature as a springboard for Amarushataka. In this exquisitely wrought piece, she weaves a poignant and moving narrative about the changing seasons and faces of love around a little-known love poem by the great Sanskrit poet, Amaru. Navia uses the sixty ninth poem in the ‘Amaruśataka’*, a collection of lyrical love poetry composed by the poet in the 7th century as the anchor for her meditations on love, longing and passion. Through the narrative lens of Amaru’s poem, Navia explores the fleeting and chimerical nature of love and desire between a man and a woman, and the ebb and flow of their relationship. From joy, rapture, romance and seduction and to estrangement, longing and indifference, Amarushataka captures the timeless essence of love. Through the words and sentiments of an ancient poem, Navia brings alive all the magic and mystery inherent in contemporary relationships as we live them out today.  (*’Amaruśataka’ ranks as one of the finest collections of lyrical poetry in Sanskrit literature. Its subject is mostly ‘Sringara’ or erotic and romantic love.) Press “..From there to a verse from the famous Amarushatakam, Navia portrayed the emotions of a khandita nayika with ease....With some reworking on her choreography, Navia could design this into an excellent piece for her repertoire.” - Veejay Sai, The Hindu BHARATHAM KATHAI KATHAIYAM (Story Narration through Dance): This experimental production commissioned by Natyagram, Chennai, brings together mime, classical dance and music. Conceived and choreographed by Navia, the unique and original piece consists of two distinct segments – part one features the enactment of a modern short story and the second segment features the storyline of an old short story. For the first segment, Navia acts out a contemporary short story, ‘Asalum Nagalum’, penned by Padmasri Indira Parthasarathy. However, in an astonishing feat, Navia depicts the modern story sans lyrics or narration, and only by the dint and language of ‘Abhinaya’ or expression.  Using an entrancing emotive range, she portrays the setting as well as the moods and intentions of the characters through the sheer creativity of ‘Abhinaya’. In the second segment, she presents her take on the mythical story of the celestial pole star Dhruva, this time with both lyrics and expressions, in a highly captivating performance. PARASHAKTI: This classical dance piece is an ode to the Devi, the feminine principle of creation or Shakti that courses through the cosmos. Through her evocative movements and choreography, Navia uncovers the many faces of the divine goddess, compassionate and fierce, all-loving and wrathful. “The clouds are her brow, the ocean is her waistband, the fire of destruction is her body, so she encompasses all of that….the essence of Parashakti or the goddess, or the Devi, is in her beauty and fierce form,” she says of the idea behind her piece. The piece delves into the dualistic nature of the goddess, as creative and destructive. But rather than depict the contrarian forces as existing outside of us, Navia depicts the battle between good and evil as an internal one – as the eternal dance of light and dark that goes on within each of us. Press “…The scene where the child fights her restless nature and discomfort during the painting sessions and the artist's genuine love for her, were effortless essays ... The final summation by the dancer lent weight here. “A grasp of essentials in Dhruva's story which evolved without needless detours, helped fortify the outcome. Dhruva‘s struggles during his meditation and the final granting of his wish were depicted with intense feeling. What raised the bar in the performance were the different hues of the mood endowed to the characters and the skill in pure dance in both sequences.” - Vidya Saranyan, The Hindu “..Even without hearing the story, one could make out that Navia was portraying a little girl, wide eyed and prancing about ... ” “…The dancer switched with ease from dance movements to yogic poses, without losing balance!” - Lalitha Venkat, Narthaki