Conference of the Birds


September 9-11, 2016, Mexican Heritage Plaza, San Jose, CA.

Sukanya Chakrabarti, Actor and Dancer

From the Facebook Event page (link)...

Thirty artists representing ten dance traditions spanning four continents feature in a vibrant, multi-sensory interpretation of the timeless Sufi quest narrative – The Conference of the Birds. EnActe Arts and Sangam Arts present a contemporary interpretation of the 12th century Persian poet Farid Attar’s magnum opus – an inspirational parable about the painful but beautiful human journey towards understanding.

Hoopoe the wise one calls for a conference of hundreds of birds, exhorting them to embark on a perilous journey across seven treacherous valleys in search of Simorgh, their king and salvation. The seven valleys represent challenges on the path to realizing the true nature of God – Yearning, Love, Mystical Knowledge, Detachment, Unity of God, Bewilderment and finally, Selflessness and Oblivion in God. Each bird has its own significance – the nightingale symbolizes the lover, the peacock the “fallen soul,” the parrot seeks the fountain of immortality. It is this universality that we seek to capture in our production, using Peter Brook and Academy Award winning playwright Jean-Claude Carriere’s play as the theatrical basis.

Written By: Jean Claude Carrière and Peter Brook Based on the 12th Century Persian poet Farid-ud-din Attar
Directed By: Vinita Sud Belani
Head of Production: Usha Srinivasan
Dance & Music Director: Antara Bhardwaj
Music Composer: Randy Armstrong



Sukanya Thumbnail I am an artist-scholar and Assistant Professor in Theatre Studies at the School of Theatre and Dance, San Francisco State University. I received my doctoral degree in Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford in June 2016. My dissertation, completed under the guidance of Dr. Jisha Menon, was awarded the Charles R. Lyons Memorial Prize for Outstanding Dissertation. My research project was supported by the Graduate Research Opportunities Award in Stanford, which facilitated my fieldwork in India and Bangladesh during the summer of 2013 and 2014; and the Wisch Fellowship by the Center for South Asia, Stanford University, for my work in South Asian theater and performance studies. My training and specialization are in the area of oral history; postcolonial and ethnic studies (with a focus on South Asian performance studies); ethnomusicology; dramatic literature; transcultural theater and performance; experimental devised performances; and community-based performance-making.


It would be wonderful to hear back from you, and you can always reach me via email.

Sukanya C.