top of page

The Absent Lover

The Absent Lover is a contemporary interpretation based on Act IV of a drama by the 5th century Sanskrit poet Kalidasa. The main character of the play is King Pururuvas whose wife, the heavenly nymph Urvashi, has fled in a fit of jealous rage into a cursed forest grove, where she is transformed into a creeper.


Pururuvas, mad with guilt and longing, seeks her in the jungle, beseeching the animals and birds he sees to give him news of his lost love. As a counterpoint to the archetype of the warrior king, a wandering storyteller—a character out of Indian street theatre—challenges and provokes the audience as he gradually reveals the story…


Choreography & Direction: Preeti Vasudevan (in collaboration with performers)
Music: John Hadfield, Ben Foskett
Lighting: Les Dickert
Set Design: Neil Patel, Delphine Ciavaldini
Costumes: Delphine Ciavaldini, Deanna Berg, Sandrine Lucas
Digital Illustration: Havoc Media Design
Script: Original Translation by Dr. David Gitomer (with permission from Columbia University Press)
New Script in collaboration with Bruno Kavanagh
 Narrator: Raj Ghatak
; Pururavas: Kenneth Flak / Gilles Chuyen; 
Urvashi: Preeti Vasudevan
Narrator’s Assistant: Celine Pradeu
; Musician: Raju Das Baul

World premiere: 2008, Chennai, India 

The Absent Lover was commissioned by Prakriti Foundation, India and the Alliance Francaise India. 

bottom of page