Raft Development Artist - Meet Isha Sharvani

In August 2019, we held a showing of a work in progress - The Raft. For this development we were joined by performers new to the work. Meet Isha Sharvani, who flew over from Perth to join us on this development!

Photo: The Raft Development 2019. Jessica Goodfellow, Isha Sharvani, Robbie Curtis, Romain Hassanin and Zachary Lopez. Photo by Jordan Shields

Photo: The Raft Development 2019. Jessica Goodfellow, Isha Sharvani, Robbie Curtis, Romain Hassanin and Zachary Lopez. Photo by Jordan Shields

1) Do you remember what inspired you to become a performer and maker?

My mother is a dancer/choreographer/director of Daksha Sheth Dance Company (India) and my father and brother are musicians, composers, directors, light and sound technicians. Together as a family we have made 6 dance productions, that have toured 25 countries, till date I have performed around 2500 shows for the Daksha Sheth Dance Company in my 24 years and counting.

My first inspiration to become a dancer for Daksha Sheth Dance Company was so I could travel the world with my family. By year six I had developed a distaste to being confined in a cement box for 5 days a week so after only a year of dancing I convinced my parents to home school me so I could totally immerse into a world of my choosing. 

It was not till my mid twenties after over a decade of dancing professionally, that I made the conscious choice continue to performing till the end of my time. This moment of insight came to me when I had to make a choice between continuing a glamorous life of acting in Bollywood or returning to the humble life of being an artist. 

For me being a physical performer/ maker is a intimate journey of discovering the possibilities of the human body and mind, of connecting deeper with my awareness and seeing how far i can expand it, of overcoming continual insecurity and self doubt, so that I can offer the best of me to my fellow humans.  I hope that through my artistic practice, I can make a positive impact big or small, towards the greater good of humanity.

 

2) How is it you came to start living in Perth from 2015?

Photo: Shiva Shakti, Perth 2013. Photo by Brian Jones

Photo: Shiva Shakti, Perth 2013. Photo by Brian Jones

In 2015, my family and I welcomed Luca Issaro, my son into this world. When you have a child you realise the importance of family. In perth I have my fathers whole family and my brother was studying at WAAPA at the time. I absolutely fell in love the incredible natural beauty of WA, the wonderfully supportive community that i live in, the freedom and empowerment i feel here as a woman. I am grateful to my Australian farther because of whom I am able to live in this country.  

 

3) As a human, and as an artist, how do you relate to the Raft and the process of its development?

To me, at its core "The Raft" is about having empathy for those who are are less fortunate then us, to use our hands to reach out and help, to allow generosity of the human spirit to triumph over entitlement, divisive border politics and separatism. 

Though out our history, the arts have shone a light on current issues of significance, and in today's world, with the drastic effects of climate change looming over our heads, the rise of walls and borders, apathy towards the millions effected by our wars, it is time to keep the channels of our hearts open.

As an emerging artist in Australia, I am so grateful to be in the studio with Gavin Webber and Joshua Thomson and the ultra talented crew of "The Raft" as a human I believe in art activism, I believe in the power of love and self transformation and I hope that this story gets heard. 

 

Andrew Batt-Rawden