...a meditation...on Partition and its relationship to the immigrant experience...
— Brandon Yu, San Francisco Chronicle, 2017

For more info, box office, and press kit, visit Broken Seeds

Nadhi Thekkek (Artistic Director, Nava Dance Theatre) and visual artist Rupy C. Tut (Art by Rupy, Oakland, CA) create Broken Seeds (Still Grow), a multi-disciplinary dance theatre production exploring the continuing impact of the 1947 British India Partition. Through bharatanatyam dance and mixed visual media, they examine the hyphenated-American, immigrant experience, linking it to the displacement of their ancestors during Partition. This creative inquiry sources poetry, eyewitness accounts, and current events to understand the current political climate while reflecting on what it means to belong somewhere. 

Partition was one of the most formative events in South Asia's recent history, creating over 15 million refugees and leaving over one million people dead. Nadhi and Rupy have sourced eyewitness accounts from Partition collected by collaborating organization, the 1947 Partition Archive (Berkeley, CA) and researched the current South Asian immigrant experience to understand how the feeling of displacement continues to shape identities today. Nadhi and Rupy use bharatanatyam, calligraphy, indian miniature painting, and spoken word to tie these contemporary narratives to their personal experiences as Americans of South Asian descent.

Broken Seeds (Still Grow) premiered November 16-19, 2017 in Oakland, CA at The Flight Deck and was produced by Nava Dance Theatre. 

This creation of this work was supported by the East Bay Fund for Artists through the East Bay Community Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Dancers' Group CA$H Grants, and crowd funders. This project is fiscally-sponsored by CounterPulse.

The premiere of this work was co-presented by South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA), South Asian Americans, Leading Together (SAALT), Berkeley South Asian Radical Walking TourPioneering Punjabis Digital Archive (UC Davis, MESA), Jakara Movement


  • Runtime: 70 minutes

  • Performed with live music

  • Premiered Nov. 16-19th, 2017 @ The Flight Deck


  • Creators/Directors: Nadhi Thekkek and Rupy C. Tut

  • Choreography: Nadhi Thekkek

  • Indian Miniature Painting/Calligraphy/Animation: Rupy C. Tut

  • Music Composition/Orchestration/Flautist: G. S. Rajan

  • Visual Art Projection: Darl Andrew Packard and Wolfgang Wachalovsky

  • Video and Editing: Kat Cole

  • Dancer Collaborators: Nadhi Thekkek, Shruti Abhishek, Vertika Srivastava, Lalli Venkat, Shelley Garg, Nitya Narasimhan, Kavita Venkateswar, Aishwarya Subramaniam

  • Musician Collaborators: Manasa Suresh (vocal), G.S. Rajan (flute), Akshaya Ganesh (nattuvangam), Rohan Krishnamoorthy (percussion), Michelle Ruttiman (cello), Chris Evans (cello)

  • Lighting Design: Richard Board

  • Funding: California Arts Council - Cultural Pathways, East Bay Community Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Dancers’ Group CA$H Grants, City of Oakland's Cultural Funding Program, ACT Artshare Residency, CounterPulse House Artist and Co-Production Programs

...delighted the audience with a perfectly synchronized performance...
— Uday Dandavate, Narthaki.com, 2014

Inspired by Kalidasa's epic poem, Meghadhutam, The Cloud Messenger is about a yaksha (or demi-god) who is exiled and separated from his lady-love. In the height of his despair, he finds solace in a young raincloud and tries to convince her to embark on a difficult journey, to ultimately take a message of love to his beloved. This magical and unconventional romance shows why loves journey, though risky, can indeed be something beautiful. In our interpretation, the raincloud is the solace that we seek, when hope ultimately seems lost. This piece is an interpretation of how we seek that solace, or how that solace sometimes seeks us. This work has been performed in part or in full to over 2500+ in programs such as the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, National Steinbeck Center (Salinas), Marin Center for the Performing Arts (San Rafael), La Mama Experimental Theatre Club (New York), and others.


  • Runtime: 65 minutes

  • Performed with either live music or recorded music


  • Direction: Nadhi Thekkek and Sophia Valath

  • Choreography: Nadhi Thekkek, Sophia Valath, Arun Mathai

  • Composer: G.S. Rajan (www.malabarian.com)

  • Orchestration: G.S. Rajan (www.malabarian.com)

  • Costumes: Costumes: R. Krishnamoorthy (Aahaaryaa Tailors, Chennai, India)

  • Lighting Design: Richard Board

  • Funding: This work was commissioned by the CounterPulse Performing Diaspora Residency/Commissioning Program and was further supported by Dancers’ Group, Theatre Bay Area CA$H Grants, Zellerbach Community Arts Grant, Center for Cultural Innovation ARC, and individual patrons.