Borderline Personality Disorder received its original name when medical professionals believed it to be somewhere on the line between psychosis and neurosis. While these words are no longer used to describe it, the disorder continues to be referred to as “Borderline Personality.” In their multidisciplinary solo work, |borders/lines|, Anjna Swaminathan examines what these words have come to mean to them as they manage their own diagnosis of BPD, the binaries they had to dismantle, and the boundaries they had to establish for themselves.
Through music, visual media, movement, and theatre, Swaminathan brings the audience into their inner world, where fears of abandonment and an unstable sense of self battle against creative abundance, community, queer love, immigrant resilience, and unconditional nourishment. We dive into this cerebral battleground, where binaries of culture, gender, sexuality, and spirit are finally allowed to blur, and the black-and-white extremes of the mind give into a vibrant spectrum. The multimedia compositional work seeks to shed light on BPD, which continues to be one of the most stigmatized mental health conditions and borrows from Swaminathan’s vast artistic worlds and four years of intensive therapy.
Roulette’s Winter season will be presented virtually and available for free on a variety of streaming platforms. Our theater is currently closed for public performances as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the safety measures that Roulette has put in place to keep staff, artists, and the public safe.
Anjna Swaminathan is a queer multidisciplinary artist, composer, violinist, vocalist, writer, theatre artist, and dramaturg. As an artist with a passion for sociopolitical work, community building, and critical consciousness, their artistic practice is an extension of their activist spirit. Informed by their rigorous training in the Carnatic and Hindustani music traditions of India, Swaminathan creates in New York’s vibrant creative music and improvisatory scene, in hybrid classical compositional work, and in their own multidisciplinary projects. They are a disciple of violin maestro Parur Sri M. S. Gopalakrishnan and Mysore Sri H.K. Narasimhamurthy and continues their training in Hindustani music with Samarth Nagarkar. Since 2018, Swaminathan has been under the compositional mentorship of Gabriela Lena Frank with whom they is exploring the creative possibilities of using Western Classical notation as a mode of communication for their deeply rooted Indian classical compositional and improvisational ideas. As an educator, Swaminathan has a strong commitment to mindfulness-based music-making, socially conscious and empathetic principles, and expression-oriented rigorous practice.
Anjna Swaminathan is a Roulette 2020 Van Lier Fellow, made possible with funds provided by the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund of the New York Community Trust. This performance is presented through Roulette’s GENERATE program, providing over 30 artists each year with in-depth creative and technical support.