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The World Premiere of The Anti “Yogi” @ Hollywood Fringe Festival

4 min read

Mayuri & Goddess Kali Call the Out Recolonization of Yoga

In the World Premiere of The Anti “Yogi” Actress, Figure Skater, Professional Dancer and Yoga Professor, Mayuri Bhandari blends her unique experience as an Indian navigating traditionally non-Indian spaces. The Anti “Yogi” opens June 8th at Hollywood Fringe Festival 2024 at the Zephyr Theatre. The show is produced by Jessica Lynn Johnson, Directed by: D’Lo and Shyamala Moorty and Choreographer/Dramaturg, Shyamala Moorty.

A “yogi” is not a skinny woman in Lululemon, but someone who renounces worldly life in pursuit of truth. Embark on a journey with Mayuri and the Goddess of Death, Kali, as they investigate absurdities of Western Yoga culture. As a yoga professor, Mayuri finds herself in a twisty identity crisis as she navigates teaching a practice that’s supposed to be her “thing”. What can her purpose be beyond educating people about yoga? Will the formidable Goddess Kali clear her path? Through a unique blend of dance, dramedy, poetry, The Anti “Yogi” gives a much needed voice to Yoga, calling out its recolonization in the West and nationalization in the East. This show peels back the yoga mat to reveal the true ethos of Yoga.

Bollywood on Ice

Mayuri Bhandari made history as the first South Asian figure skater to showcase figure skating on Indian National Television and is a National figure skating champion.  She infuses Bollywood into the sport with her Bollywood On IceYouTube channel, where she has 55,000 subscribers. 

Her short film BINDI received recognition at film festivals in Athens, Berlin, Seattle, and Los Angeles. Mayuri’s work was recently featured at the United Nations Women’s Event in Los Angeles. She has appeared in popular Indian TV shows like “Dare 2 Dance” and has worked with Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, and Hrithik Roshan.

She has starred in film and television shows such as Lincoln Lawyer(Netflix), Dave (FX/Hulu), Rebel (ABC), Nightingale (Prime), 911: Lone Star (FOX), and Dare 2 Dance/Just Dance (Star Plus). Her voiceover work includes Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Sony), Ms. Marvel (Disney), Shantaram (Apple), Netflix, and many audiobooks (Penguin Random House). She has also done several theater productions- starring as the lead in Clown Bar at the Hudson Theater and AA Sketch at the Ruskin Theater Co. in Los Angeles.

Mayuri Bhandari in Clown Bar at the Hudson Theatre

D’Lo, director

D’Lo is a queer/trans Ilangai Tamil-American actor/writer/comic. He is a teacher/mentor/producer for writers working in film and theater. He has dramaturg’d/directed solo artists since 2010. He is proudly co-directing alongside brilliant artist/sister, Shyamala Moorthy, on 2 HFF 2024 solo shows! 

His solo shows have toured theaters & festivals internationally, including a 2022 run at CTG’s Kirk Douglas Theater of To T, or not To T?. His work has been published and/or written about in academic journals, literary anthologies, as well as print/online journalism sources, including NPR’s CodeSwitch, LA Times, The Guardian, NBC, CNN and The Advocate. His acting credits include: LOOKING, TRANSPARENT, SENSE 8, Mr. ROBOT, CONNECTING, QUANTUM LEAP and Billy Eichner’s BROS. D’Lo is a Senior Civic Media Fellow through USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab funded by the MacArthur Foundation, and is a Sherwood Awardee through Center Theater Group. dlocokid.com

Shyamala Moorty, director, choreographer, dramaturg

Shyamala Moorty is an award winning director, choreographer and dramaturg who values collaboration, connection and transformation through the arts. Her live performance work has toured internationally and draws on dance, theater, multimedia, and community engagement. Her two short films have won multiple awards and are currently showing on the film festival circuit. Shyamala has worked as an ensemble member and core artist with TeAda Productions where she created two acclaimed solo shows, she is a founding member of both the Post Natyam Collective and the Dancing Storytellers, and has also created work and performed with Great Leap, the Rangoli Foundation, and as a principal dancer for the AMAN International Folk Dance and Music Ensemble. Shyamala teaches choreography at California State University Long Beach and is also a performance doula and coach.  She is honored to be co-directing two 2024 Hollywood fringe solo shows with the incredibly talented D’lo.  www.shyamalamoorty.com

Produced by Jessica Lynn Johnson

The ANTI YOGI is produced by Jessica Lynn Johnson. The STARS Co Executive Producer, is a published playwright, recipient of BEST NATIONAL SOLO ARTIST AWARD, Advisory Board Member of the LA Women’s Theatre Festival, Co Executive Producer of the Joshua Tree Solo Theatre Festival, and Founder & CEO of Soaring Solo Studios International. Jessica has aided in the development, direction and producing of over 150 solo shows (and still going strong)! As a performer, Jessica has “edu-tained” international audiences touring her own one person shows ZE and OBLIVIOUS TO EVERYONE for over 15 years. Jessica’s projects have taken home awards such as the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival 2024 RAINBOW AWARD, TOP OF FRINGE, HFF ENCORE PRODUCER AWARDS, TVOLUTION BEST SOLO PERFORMANCE, LARRY CORNWALL AWARD FOR MUSICAL EXCELLENCE & several other accolades! Jessica was also nominated for the Female Director of Distinction in Theatre by Girl Trip LLC at the 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival & Best Director of a Play by Broadway World 2023. For more info visit her website SoaringSoloStudios.com.

The World Premiere of Mayuri Bhandari’s The Anti “Yogi” opens June 8th at Hollywood Fringe Festival 2024 at the Zephyr Theatre. Performances are on June 8, 4:45 PM, Sunday, June 16, 6:30 PM, and Thursday June 20, 7:00 PM. The running time is 60 minutes. Tickets are $15 and available at the Hollywood Fringe Website.

*Special thanks to Mayuri’s team for press release.

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