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Adishakti was created in 1981 as a theatre company in Mumbai. Its main activity then was to create performances, which were already scripted. Some of these performances were Sophocles’ Oedipus – (1982), Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead – (1983), Euripedes’ Trojan Women – (1984).
From 1985 onwards Adishakti started creating its own texts. Thus A Greater Dawn – (1992), Impressions of Bhima – (1994), Khandava Prastha – (1996), Brhannala – (1998), Ganapati – (2000), The Hare and The Tortoise – (2007). In 2008 Adishakti departed briefly from the text, Ionesco’s Rhinocores. This was towards to explore the relevance of Adishakti’s performace vocabulary and aesthatic on a pre excisting and non-Indian text.
“Excellent performances highlight “Oedipus” The composition and body-lines in the intimate scene between Jocasta and Oedipus displayed the visual sensitivity of the director. The use of eyes was a very good directorial touch that belonged exclusively to Veenapani Chawla”
—-Mid Day 26-8-1981.
“Strangely while supposedly revolutionary theatre is becoming decadent, this staging of a Greek tragedy is one of the most progressive endeavors in recent memory. —it indicates one way out for the state of the art, which seems to have reached stalemate. Veenapani Chawla’s version at the Prithvi is a truly modern rending of a classic in a form that restores it to life while rooting it in a vital artistic context.”
—- The Sunday Observer 10-5-1984.
“The humor was superbly paced – stealing in craftily, then going over the top in improvisatory abandon before retuning to the solemnity of the opening. The absence of a prefatory note on the production helped. Much of Bhima’s sparkle derived from the fact of an unprepared audience having to discover its way by itself.”
—-The Pioneer Delhi 25-4-1996
“Brhannala written, choreographed and directed by Chawla and performed by Vinay Kumar, — was the most total work of theatre l have yet to witness. I use total because I can’t come up with a better word to describe the creators’ perfect blend of spoken language, physical body, music and lights”
—-The Dance Inside 3-January 2003
“Watching Adishakti’s “The Hare and The Tortoise” during NSD’s Theatre Utsav, brilliantly conceived and executed by Director Veenapani Chawla vividly brought home music, dance, movement, craft forms, dialouge integrated in one performance language……”
—-The HINDU, Leela Venkataraman, January 2007