Karthika Naïr

Creator - artistic director

Portait Karthika Naïr

Karthika Naïr is a poet, playwright, fabulist and dance scenarist. Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata, her reworking of the foundational South Asian epic in multiple voices, won the 2015 Tata Literature Live Award for Book of the Year, and was highly commended at the 2016 Forward Prizes. Les Oiseaux électriques de Pothakudi (Éditions Hélium/Actes-Sud, 2022) – her latest children’s book illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet – won the 2023 Prix Felipé for “ecological children’s literature” and was shortlisted for the 2023 Prix Franco-Allemand de la littérature de jeunesse.

Karthika Naïr’s play Beneath the Music, created and directed by Jay Emmanuel for Encounter Theatre, premiered at the Subiaco Arts Centre in Perth in May 2023. The dance performances she has scripted and co-scripted include Akram Khan’s multiple-award-winning DESH and Until the Lions, as well as Carlos Pons Guerra’s Mariposa, a queer reimagining of Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly. She is the co-founder of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Antwerp-based dance company and executive producer of several of his and Damien Jalet’s works.

© Koen Broos