Date & Time

Main Theatre


Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies is a Bharatanatyam, experimental movement, and live music production that explores the labor and lived experiences of South Asian immigrant women in the US. Inspired by the oral histories of Indian nurses who arrived as a result of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, choreographer Nadhi Thekkek, and her collaborators explore the heavy and enduring work of immigrant women and the worlds they traverse between. 


Who puts a price on their labor? What is the cost of opportunity? How do we celebrate connections forged in this new homeland while grieving the connections we lost? Through community interviews, Bharatanatyam dance, and live music, Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies negotiates these questions while uplifting the struggles, triumphs, and contributions of community elders who paved the way for later generations. 


Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies is an ensemble work of 7 dancers with a live original score by Roopa Mahadevan, Kalaisan Kalaichelvan, and others. Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies is created and produced by Nava Dance Theatre.


“Composition” in Indian dance and music is not simply an act of commissioning an individual, but rather a collaborative process incorporating cultural and artistic knowledge, artistic instincts, and real-time improvisation. Each director, musician, and dancer has thus been essential to the creation of this work and its ongoing evolution.


A special thanks to Dr. Sheba George and the Malayalee women who generously and

anonymously shared their migration stories.


Funders: Rogue Gestures/Foreign Bodies is supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission,

California Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, East Bay Community Foundation, and

New Music USA. Sections of this work have been supported by the MAP Fund, Kenneth Rainin

Foundation, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.


Presenting/Organizational Partners:

Northglenn Arts/Colorado Fine Arts Association, Northglenn, CO

Maryland Hall, Annapolis, MD

Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center, Livermore, CA

World Arts West, San Francisco, CA


South Asian American Digital Archive, Philadelphia, PA



Nava Dance Theatre:

To become a sponsor of this show, please visit or contact Maria Abreu Lugar at