"Search For My Tongue" is based on the bi-lingual poem of the same name by Sujata Bhatt, a Gujarati-born poetess who was educated in the U.S. and now lives in Germany.
The poem "Search For My Tongue" specifically deals with the dilemma of Asian youth raised in the west, caught between two cultures, their search for identity being mirrored by the search for a mother tongue long atrophied from disuse. Through dreams and memories, and through communication with relatives in India, a vital link is forged, and with it a sense of wholeness and identity.
In a more general sense however, the poem touches upon broader issues. In a time of social and cultural dislocation and transformation such as India is presently undergoing, what is our identity? We can neither return to the womb of the past, nor can we free ourselves from it. The poem may also be seen as a metaphor for Daksha's own search for an independent dance identity and language.
Under the title "Tongues Untied", this item was initially commissioned for the British dance company YUVA, (The South Asian Dance Youth Company) by its director, Shaila Parthasarathy. The work was choreographed for five young British dancers, (four of them of Indian origin) during an intensive two-week rehearsal period in Nottingham, U.K., in August 1994. YUVA subsequently toured "Tongues" to nine cities in England and Scotland. In 1995 the item was extensively re-worked for Daksha's Trivandrum-based dance company, and performed to rave reviews and high public acclaim in India. In February 1998, the Daksha Sheth Dance Company presented "Search For My Tongue" at the prestigious Hong Kong Arts Festival, Asia's leading performing arts festival.
Concept: Shaila Parthasarathy, Daksha Sheth, Devissaro
Choreography: Daksha Sheth
Original Music, Set and Light Design, and Direction: Devissaro