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The Shakespeare Society of India in association with Ashoka University hosted a two-day conference titled ‘Shakespeare’s Ashes’

The two day event included seminars which touched upon different aspects of Shakespeare’s various ‘lives’ across the world as well as his understanding of death.

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24 October, 2016 | 5 Mins read

The Shakespeare Society of India in association with Ashoka University hosted a two-day conference titled ‘Shakespeare’s Ashes’.

The two day event included seminars which touched upon different aspects of Shakespeare’s various ‘lives’ across the world as well as his understanding of death; a screening of Aparna Sen’s Bengali adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, titled Arshinagar; and Chahat ki Dastaan, a translation of Shakespeare’s sonnets, into various Indian languages and performances.

Sreya Muthukumar and Zico Sehgal, who are undergraduate students of Ashoka performed a brilliant Bharatnatyam/tribal dance translation of Shakespeare’s Sonnets 128-9, in front of an enraptured audience.

‘Ashoka students, staff and faculty combined to produce what was arguably the highlight of a sublime conference — the Chahat ki Dastaan, a translation of Shakespeare’s Sonnets into 11 Indian languages and forms’ posted Ashoka’s Dean of Academic Affairs Jonathan Gil Harris, wh is also the president of the Society. Harris is an academic, known for his extensive research on Shakespeare.

“Shakespeare’s sonnets are not taught in India. They make people uncomfortable in terms of how they talk about desire,” said Madhavi Menon, member, Shakespeare Society of India and professor of English at Ashoka University. “Sonnets appeared to be the perfect text to showcase the variety of performance styles and languages we have in India. There will be 10 performance of five minutes each, including Dastaangoi and Bharatnatyam.”

The event also saw American-born Indian Bharatnatyam dancer Justin McCarthy’s exquisite Bharatnatyam and Tamil-Sangham fusion performance- a song rendition of Shakespeare’s wonderfully gender-bending Sonnet 20 (“master-mistress of my passion”).

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Study at Ashoka