Shakti your booty! Diwali in BC is all about feminine energy

Inspired by a short story, Encounter blends physical theatre with bold storytelling.

Diwali in BC takes place for five weeks, beginning this Saturday and running until Nov. 16. The festival includes dance, theatre, film and more, with many of the shows celebrating the festival’s theme of feminine power, or shakti. Here are some highlights. (Click on titles for tickets.)

Encounter—Inspired by a short story by Indian writer Mahasweta Devi, Navarasa Dance Theatre uses acrobatics and original music to tell the story of an indigenous woman, her defiance against injustice, and her communities’ struggle to uphold their indigenous way of life. (Oct. 17-22 at the York Theatre, 639 Commercial Dr.)

Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan—Writer/performer Dipti Mehta delves into the world of sex-trafficking in Mumbai’s red-light district. Mehta has performed the show in cities like Boston and New York, where it has received rave reviews. (Oct. 20-Nov. 4 at Vancity Culture Lab, 1895 Venables St.)

Dipti Mehta in Honour. Kyle Rosenberg photo.

Anatomy of Violence—The Deepa Mehta film examines one of India’s most internationally notorious crimes: the 2012 gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a Delhi bus. Mehta collaborated with theatre director Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry and her actors “to envisage possible sociological and psychological backgrounds and pasts for both the perpetrators and the victim,” according to the Diwali media release. A panel discussion, Sparking Celluloid: Filmmaking for Social Change, follows the screening. (Oct. 5 at Cineplex Odeon International Village, 88 W. Pender St.)

Happy Place—Actress/playwright Pamela Mala Sinha delves into the lives of seven women in an in-patient care facility. Happy Place features a diverse cast of Vancouver actresses with over fifty Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards and nominations combined. (Oct. 20-29 at Firehall Arts Centre, 280 E. Cordova St.)

Happy Place takes audiences into the experiences of seven women in an in-patient care facility.

For more information on Diwali in BC, visit

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