Mahavidyas in Medicine

Traditionally, Indian Classical Dance focuses on narratives of gods and goddesses from stories of Hindu Mythology. We are hoping to use this dance form to tell stories of female patients and physicians who embody the strength of these mythical figures as well. The Mahavidyas are a group of 10 demi-goddesses, each with a unique strength and character, who live on the margins of acceptable society. They are widows, young girls, dark skin, blood thirsty, warriors. They are feared and celebrated for their imperfections. It is this ability to cross boundaries that makes the Mahavidyas the inspiration of this dance project—a project hoping to cross boundaries in medicine.

There are so many incredible stories of triumph and loss that are hidden because they seem “unacceptable”, not status quo. Their stories and experiences are often untold. This project connects these stories to stories of the Mahavidyas to celebrate the humanity in medicine. 

Our Choreography Series

Sati’s Surgery: On Vulnerability in the Operating Room

Tripura’s Birth: On the process of Fetal Development, the Beauty of Delivery, and Transformation into Motherhood

Chinnamasta’s DNR Order: On Choosing to End Life

Bhairavi’s Addiction: On Physician Suicide and the depths of Addiction

Bagalamukhi’s Words: On Dehumanization in Case Presentations

Tara’s (dis) Ability: On Resilience in the Body

Dhumavati’s Waiting Room: On Anxiety Facing the Unknown

Mathangi’s Skin: On Racial Microaggressions

Bhuvaneshwari’s Earth: On Bodies, Rituals, and the Environment

Kamala’s Mind: On the Wonder of Thoughts

Kali’s Chemotherapy: On Fighting Cancer



This project is dedicated to our amazing parents, our generous and brilliant dance teachers, and our many well wishers. We could not have done this without you. In particular, I would like to mention my personal inspiration for finding the connections between religion,science, art, and history–Dr.Pemmaraju Venugopala Rao, professor emeritus at Emory University. His kindness, brilliance, and guidance are forever remembered and cherished.