Women’s Raga Massive presents the 3rd annual March festival: Out of the Woods, featuring female-led projects in celebration of Women’s History Month. This year’s iteration of the festival reflects on the subtle and violent, the named and often invisible currents that are at play with the role of gender in music within the South Asian musical world. The narratives are multiple, alternating between ecstatic song and lament. Out of the Woods seeks to create a creative clearing in which these stories can be freely told.
‘Ask Hafiz’ is performance integrating story-telling, poetry, dance and music. The show tells the immigration story of Sahar Muradi’s tumultuous journey from a Soviet-ruled Afghanistan to Queens. Along the way, Sahar, following an age-old practice, asks questions to the book of poetry by Hafiz. The answers are revealed through songs composed and sung by Haleh Liza, dance choreographed and performed by Malini Srinivasan, music by Adam Maalouf, Trina Basu, Bala Skandan and Rich Stein. Hafiz, the 14th century Persian poet and mystic, is an ancient voice connecting the people of South Asia, the Middle East and the US, linking the past to our ever-evolving present.
Out of the Woods festival will rotate through some of New York’s iconic venues, starting at Nublu, The Jazz Gallery, Joe’s Pub and culminating at the Rubin Museum. The month also features a series of musical-art dialogues, a panel discussion and “long table” gathering at The Rubin Museum of Art focusing on power and gender in South Asian performing arts communities.