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Adishakti started with the research into and re-animation of traditional and folk knowledges in theatre, music and movement, to evolve a viable physical vocabulary for performance. It encompasses methods for training in voice, Kalaripayattu, psychological expression and using rhythm as text.

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Although primarily a performance company, the research element in Adishakti’s activities occupies a large part of its daily time and energy. Over the years it has evolved a physical craft for feeding the physical, vocal and psychological expression of the actor. This is based on certain Indian knowledge and physical forms like Kalaripayattu, the Kerala martial art form, breath practices for psychological expression used in Koodiyattam, a form of classical Sanskrit Theatre and the rhythm patterns of music which accompany Koodiyattam performance.

Adishakti’s research took off when Veenapani started studying Koodiyattam under Guru Ammanoor Madhav Chakiar in Iringallakuda, Kerala. She enquired how he managed to maintain the freshness of his emotion in performance day after day. He replied she had to find out that secret herself. So after detailed and in-depth study, Veenapani realised that it is the unfailing use of breath that fed every emotion.  Each emotion has a particular breath pattern and definite progressions of rhythm.

From 2001 onwards, Adishakti started to create the opportunity for new and imaginative exchanges between contemporary writers and performers; musicians and mathematicians; contemporary scientists and actors; traditional healers and philosophers. She created exchange between cultures which have shared origins or different origins but certain shared principles. This revitalized performance as a powerful bridging agent between disparate worlds and knowledge systems.

From 2001 onwards, Adishakti started creating opportunity for new and imaginative exchanges between cultures which have shared or different origins.

These exchanges explored certain shared principles that revitalises performance as a powerful agent between disparate worlds and knowledge systems. The exchanges were between but not limited to contemporary writers and  p[erformers; musicians and mathematicians; scientists and actors; traditional healers and philosophers. Currently, Vinay Kumar is pursuing this research on creating reliable performance tools for artists.

Our training methods in SOPE workshops were the end result of one such research . These workshops are designed to make traditional knowledges accessible to  contemporary performers from different cultural and aesthetic contexts. These findings also feed our own performances and empower our actors with an unfailing physical craft -the use of breath.

We present these discoveries and concerns and hope that they trigger off your thought process that may result in an exchange of ideas.

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Downloadable papers on some of our insights.
An exhaustive study presenting a multidimensional view of Veenapani Chawla’s journey in the realm of theatre.
Play Scripts from Adishakti's own productions.
The architectural and spatial needs of Theatre must be determined by a philosophy and aesthetic of live performance, which make it a valid form of expression today.