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Chicago Performs | Lykanthea, Some Viscera

September 26, 20247:30 pm

September 27, 20247:30 pm

CART captioning available Fri, Sep 27

Per the artist's request, masks must be worn during this performance.
Allergy notice: Live plants present

About the Performance

Lykanthea is a multidisciplinary collective led by artist Lakshmi Ramgopal, whose performances and installations use pop idioms to experiment with traditional South Asian art forms. Her latest work, Some Viscera, is a collection of song and movement accompanied by immersive stage design that explores childhood, kinship, and memory in the contemporary Indian-American diaspora. The project features a multidisciplinary core ensemble starring Asha Rowland, Erica Miller, Johanna Brock, and Ben Zucker. Together, they integrate elements of Carnatic music, Bharatanatyam dance, Sanskrit and Tamil poetry, Baroque chamber music, and free improvisation to perform rich, intimate dance theater.

The premiere of Some Viscera occurs within the frame of the arangetram, a Tamil word meaning “ascending the stage.” It describes the arduous, long-form, solo performance through which students of classical Indian dance and music debut as mature artists—a celebrated but fraught rite of passage. The arangetram of Some Viscera consists of four principal movements. Each invokes avian and floral motifs from sources that include ancient classical dance and music, medieval Sanskrit poetry, the literary culture of India’s independence movement, and Indian films of the late 1990s. By creating this fanciful world, the movements reflect on cultural knowledge and breakdown.

Lykanthea presented an early iteration of Some Viscera in 2019 as a part of the MCA’s In Progress series.

Masks must be worn during the performance per the artist’s request.

Access Information

English CART captioning is available for the performance on Friday, September 27.

Live plants, including roses and marigolds, are present during the performance. If you are concerned about allergies, please call the MCA Box Office for more information.

About the Artist

Lykanthea is the project of multidisciplinary artist Lakshmi Ramgopal. Experimenting with traditional South Asian art forms, she creates performances and installations in spaces that range from museum galleries to botanical conservatories to the middle of a freshwater stream. Her 2014 EP Migration put her on the map among experimental and pop music fans for her alchemical use of synths, catchy melodies, and Carnatic improvisatory techniques. Her work has been commissioned by Krannert Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Experimental Sound Studio, and Edgar Miller Legacy.


Chicago Performs is supported by The New Works Initiative, which puts the creative process at the heart of the MCA’s relationship with Chicago by supporting the development of new performances and creative projects. Lead support for the New Works Initiative is provided by Elizabeth A. Liebman.