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The Nine Jeweled Deer

directed by PETER SELLARS composer by SIVAN ELDAR concept/lead improviser GANAVYA 

the story of the past

In ink hidden from the sun, a two-thousand year old painted story of a magical Deer survives in a grotto. A man is drowning, he begs the nine-jeweled Deer to save him. She consents on one sacred condition: he cannot betray the secret of her existence to the man’s king, or any other human. Thousands of years later, the story changes its ending according to the human who tells it.

the story of the present

In the opening chapter of a 2,000 year old Buddhist text, the Vimalakirti Sutra, Buddha performs a sensational miracle of transforming the world into a magnificent array of many hundreds of thousands of clusters of precious gems. His student, Śāriputrā, laments the lack of preciousness, perfection, and painlessness of his own world. The same way someone with their eyes closed cannot see the sun and the moon, Buddha shows his students, you are just learning to open your eyes to already-precious and already-perfect nature of your world.

the story of the future

In a small kitchen that magically expands to hold as many people who seek it, a Grandmother fashions instruments from pots and dry grains. There, just beyond the reach of those who betrayed them, they sing the secrets of their lives to each other. The Grandmother hears them all patiently in her small, dusty house by an old Banyan tree, and offers them each a new ending that is thousands of years old.

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