Dhumavati’s Anxiety in the Waiting Room


Please click the image above for the video of the performance. 

Videography by International Human Rights and Arts Festival

Song: Boat to Nowhere by Anoushka Shankar ( we do NOT own ANY rights to this beautiful music)

Choreographers: Teresa Cuevas and Shilpa Darivemula Collab: the IndoRican Multicultural Project

Performers: Teresa Cuevas and Sayoko Kojima of the IndoRican Multicultural Project and Shilpa Darivemula

Anxiety in waiting rooms is palpable. This piece focuses on the loved ones who put their hopes on medicine and battle with their fears sitting in the waiting room. One woman is awaiting her chemotherapy, another is battling the abyss of opiate addiction here for some rest, and the third is a teen who is terrified about discovering she is pregnant. All express deep anxiety until they are reminded of goddess Dhumavati—the goddess whose power is turning isolation into communal strength. Dhumavati is Dhumavati is said to manifest herself at the time of cosmic dissolution and is “the Void” that exists before creation and after dissolution–a void felt before and after diagnosis in the waiting room.

Waiting rooms are spaces of stress for families and loved ones and for patients. Many programs have tried to transform waiting rooms into innovative health spheres, but rarely do waiting rooms undergo scrutiny for what they represent–the fear of the unknown. Empathy from providers for this reality of patients and this space can improve the healthcare experience and the transition a diagnosis imposes on one’s life. 

This piece is a call for the waiting room to become a space of healing for patients by creating support for the shared journeys in that room and by reminding those waiting that the power for transformation lives within.

Read our article on using art in the waiting room to alleviate sress