Copy of the Copy

inDevelopment Project

Performer/choreographer/writer and co-Artistic Director of Sangam, Priya Srinivasan brings together two extraordinary artists, makers, and thinkers in conversation: Danielle Micich & Govin Ruben.

What does it mean to be a copy of the copy such that the origins become obscured? Who profits from it? What does profit look like? What happens when those who cannot be represented because of power differentials have their art copied by dominant bodies while their bodies are discarded in the process? How do we move forward from these histories of entanglements?

What gets labeled contemporary and what gets labeled “traditional” when they are actually hybrid forms influenced and borrowed from each other? How can we move away from binaries to redefine the contemporary?

Created By
Priya Srinivasan

Dr. Priya Srinivasan's practice is rooted in South Asian classical dance, prioritizing feminist decolonization processes, and making visible minority women’s histories. Her work has been presented internationally in major festivals and venues in USA, Europe, China, India and Australia.

With a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University, Priya is the author of the award-winning book “Sweating Saris: Indian Dance as Transnational Labour.”

“Copy of the Copy” is a multidisciplinary interactive performance work based on Srinivasan's book “Sweating Saris” which looks at dancers as gendered racialized labourers in the USA and Australia in the 20th century.  “Copy of the Copy” looks at South Asian performance of hereditary artists and other cultural workers in the 19th-20th century in Europe and Australia and the impact they have had on Western classical and contemporary performance despite the White Australia Policy in Australia, the Asian Exclusion Act in USA and the colonial mechanisms in Europe that restricted the movement of South Asian bodies even while absorbing their cultural forms. 

About the Collaborators: 

Danielle Micich is a highly-awarded choreographer, director and performer of dance theatre and the current Artistic Director & CEO of Force Majeure. She makes new work for festivals, theatre productions, opera, and film, alongside site-specific and community work. Her independent work extends nationally and internationally, working with companies such as Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Black Swan State Theatre Company, Perth Theatre Company, Night Train Productions, Steamworks Arts Productions, Dwhani Dance Company (India), Barking Gecko Theatre Company, Pinchgut Opera and Monkey Baa Theatre. 

Govin Ruben is a performance maker, designer, director and creative producer based between Kuala Lumpur, New York and Melbourne. He is also the director of TerryandTheCuz, a Malaysian/Australian company that has created an array of interdisciplinary arts projects around the world.

In recent years, he has initiated, steered, directed and designed multiple international collaborations. These include; ‘Klue,Doh!’, a work in theatre, ‘Flatland’ an adaptation in dance, ‘SK!N’ a contemporary performance based on true stories about Human Trafficking, ‘Citrawarna, Colours of Malaysia 2017’ a cultural spectacle set in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, ‘Thicker Than Water’ and the Off-Broadway season of  ‘MADE IN AMERICA’ both presented at The Public Theater in New York City and most recently ‘HuRU-hARa’,a hybrid concept/venue at the 2020 AsiaTOPA Festival in Melbourne.

Performance History

  • 2023


Created By
Dr. Priya Srinivasan
Choreographer, Writer, Director & Performer
Staging & Visual Designer
Govin Ruben
Co-performer, choreographer & director
Danielle Micich



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