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This Bharatnatyam Performance Sends an Empowering Message in Support of Transgender Rights


Art has always played a crucial role in the advocacy against social and political injustices that have existed in the society for centuries. And it’s no different today.

A US-based digital arts education startup called IndianRaga has released a beautiful Bharatnatyam performance that depicts the life and the struggle of a trans woman in today’s society. Performed by one of the Fellows of the institute, Aarthy Sunday, it tells the tale of a trans woman who gets rejected by both society at large and also by her family, but comes to find peace and happiness from within herself.

The video was released in honour of the International Transgender Day of Visibility that was marked on March 31.

The five-minute performance is an emotional window into the kinds of obstacles faced by the transgender community for simply existing. But it also sends an empowering message on leading an authentic life.

Sriram Emani, founder and CEO of IndianRaga, spoke to Huffpost India, noting that when Aarthy came to him with the idea of using Bharatnatyam as a storytelling platform to advocate for trans rights, he was intrigued. He said, “A key requirement of mine was that it should have an empowering tone and connect with those who are not yet sensitised to LGBTQ issues. Starting the piece on a high, vibrant note was important to me for the same reason.”

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In their official YouTube channel, the group writes, “With this piece, and on this day especially, we offer our support and recognition for the accomplishments in the transgender community, as well as the broader LGBTQ community.”

The video can be viewed below:

[embedvideo id=”c1FqhFZ3EGI” website=”youtube”]

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