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In Performance

In Performance: Deepali Gupta, Over(Reverberating) (The Exponential Festival)

Exponential Festival

Deepali Gupta
The Exponential Festival, Vital Joint
Jan 5-6, 2018

Over(Reverberating) is a live-performance of selected songs from Deepali Gupta’s 2017 album of the same name. Between each song, Deepali shares snippets of stories inviting the audience into a recent break-up and the resulting manic episode that inspired and fueled the album. Each song is a stark and haunting plunge into Deepali’s psyche with just her voice and no instrumental support. Deepali uses rhyme and repetition to understand herself. Her lyrics seem to result from associative word games that pull the audience in for a brisk hour-long experience.

Deepali’s live performance proves to be inseparable from the music itself. Walking into the intimate basement space at Vital Joint, you see Deepali but she doesn’t seem to see you. She lounges on top of at least 3 pasley-ish blankets in a pasley-ish dress. Unsure where she begins or ends in the mass of fabric, the audience witnesses Deepali engrossed in a diary full to the brim with teeny-tiny text. Her head bops to Top 40’s music from years past as she warms-up her voice, her mouth, and her eyes. Her face works hard throughout the next hour telling just as much, if not more, of the story behind her music. One moment her eyes are full of incredible sadness and the next her mouth is contorted beyond cartoon level, her voice never losing its rigour. Her facial gymnastics create a level of self-awareness and demand the audience not be too precious with the work. She encourages laughter as she croons through the intimacies of her own insecurities. As a whole, Over(Reverberating) is a clever and vulnerable journey through an artist’s healing process.

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Adil Mansoor is a director and educator committed to centering the voices of queer and trans people of color. He is a founding member of Hatch Arts Collective in Pittsburgh, PA and has directed for Quantum Theatre, Bricolage Production Company, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, and others. He is currently a John Wells Directing Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University.

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