At PICA we recognise that we are situated within the unceded lands of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation. We pay our respects and offer our gratitude to Elders past and present, and to those emerging leaders in the community. We acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the importance of their care and continued connection to culture, community and Country.

Always was, always will be.

We are closed today. Our exhibitions are always free.
News - 11th of September 2023

Raghav Handa’s TWO – An intergenerational bromance between a musician and a dancer

Raghav Handa's TWO – An intergenerational bromance between a musician and a dancer

‘TWO is a must see for anyone wanting to see Kathak dance transformed into a mesmerising and witty contemporary performance.’ – Australian Arts Review 

Central to traditional Indian Kathak (pronounced ‘Kah-tahk’), the dancer must never touch the drums. The musician commands and the dancer must follow. That’s the rule. But what happens when roles are reversed and the dancer takes control? Dancer Raghav Handa and maestro tabla musician Maharshi Raval’s rule-breaking, intergenerational bromance sits at the heart of TWO.  

For 10 years, Raghav and Maharshi have built a friendship typically discouraged by the hierarchy between the dancer and musician in Indian Kathak. Higher in the pecking order, the musician controls the dance and from their platform they call to the dancer. The dancer responds to the call almost in a game-like fashion – but they never overtake the musician.  

TWO challenges these dominant ideologies through a highly physical dance vocabulary and by introducing elements of ‘live-responsiveness’ and unpredictability to the relationship between musician and dancer. The old ways are disrupted and suddenly the roles of ‘leader’ and ‘follower’ are up for grabs.  

While motivated primarily by a love and respect for Kathak tradition, TWO throws open the doors of the discipline and stretches the limits of musician/dancer interactions. In so doing, it speaks not only to the principles of Indian Kathak, but transcends formal and cultural specificity, interrogating shifting power relationships and inviting audiences to consider the profundity of collaboration. 

TWO represents a significant step in Raghav Handa’s practice. Raghav’s interactions with Maharshi Raval, his long-time collaborator and tabla player, reflect the creative possibilities that are inherent to sharing power and creating space for others. By exposing historical formality and challenging tradition through a contemporary prism. 

Raghav says, ‘My hope is that the audience will appreciate that risk and discomfort can nurture growth and enrichment.’ 

Maharshi improvises the music during each performance. The rhythms of this fast-paced show are different each time – no two performances are the same. 

In this comedic, joyful celebration of collaboration, the pair present a charming, playful testament to friendship, respect and creative trust.  

Filled with impressive physicality, virtuosic music and witty encounters, Raghav Handa’s TWO is an expert, tongue-in-cheek demonstration of respectfully challenging tradition and the true power of collaboration that follows.    

Duration: 60 minutes, no interval  

Tickets are $25–35 from  

School bookings are available. To book your school group, please contact  

Media Contact

Publicist Tracy Routledge | | +61 412 223 221

Performance Dates

Wednesday 20 September | 7pm 
Thursday 21 September | 7pm 
Friday 22 September | 7pm 
Saturday 23 September | 2pm & 7pm 

Artist Biographies

Creator, Choreographer & Performer Raghav Handa  
Tabla Player & Performer Maharshi Raval  
Designer Justine Shih Pearson  
Dramaturg Julie-Anne Long  
Lighting Design Karen Norris  
LED Frame Construction Alejandro Rolandi  
Produced by Performing Lines  

Raghav Handa is an Australian choreographer and performer of Indian heritage with training in modern contemporary dance. He is inspired by his birthright – his works combine traditional Kathak principles and contemporary movement with speed and precision to create multifaceted, engaging explorations of modern Australian cultural identity. His works challenge cultural and contemporary norms by navigating the ‘preciousness’ & complexities that surround traditional hierarchies and by utilising his Indian heritage to create spaces that foster robust discussion & risk taking – he encourages his audience to come to their own conclusions rather than imposing his own. His creations are novel, engaging and often playful, but he also likes to play with fire!  

Cross-artform investigation has been a cornerstone of Raghav’s practice. He investigates the potential that lies at the shifting boundaries between disciplines and the revelations sparked at those intersections. Over the last eight years, he has created critically acclaimed works – performing in festivals and theatres here and overseas. Raghav’s practice has been supported by the Australia Council, Create NSW, FORM, Ausdance, UNSW, Sydney University & Critical Path. Through access to SBS, ABC and India Link, his work has gained a following in Indian and contemporary dance communities.  

Through TWO, Raghav aims to continue building a strong, professional, and critically received body of work and to grow his experience and professional standing as a choreographer with a unique approach and style. 

Thank You to our Supporters

TWO is produced by Performing Lines and supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW. Originally presented by FORM Dance Projects as part of Dance Bites 2021 at Riverside Theatres.

Running from August to September, Djilba is the Noongar season of growth and conception, marked by the blooming of wildflowers and cold, clear days. From October till November, Kambarang arrives and with it the return of hot weather.