Source of Performance Energy workshop

A 10 Day Residential Workshop For Actors

Next two workshops scheduled
11th to 20th April 2018

& 14th to 23rd May 2018

Founded in 1981 Adishakti is a performance company engaged in the research and reanimation of traditional knowledges in theatre, dance, music, movement and craft forms — with a view to creating a contemporary hybrid aesthetic and performance language. Over the years it has evolved a largely physical craft for feeding the physical, vocal and psychological expression of the actor based on certain 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. Although all these forms are rooted in a specific cultural context Adishakti has endeavored to seek out the fundamental principles underlying these practices to make them applicable to a wide constituency of performers: those from different cultural and aesthetic contexts and from different kinds of contemporary and traditional performance.

The workshop aims to equip the participant in the basics of this physical craft and be autonomous in applying and extending this praxis towards their own performance practice. Learn the basics of the new performance methodology developed by Adishakti: breath, emotion, rhythm, centres and voice.




7 am – 7:30 am: Eye Exercises
As the eyes are an important medium of communication, this workshop will have a half a series of exercises for the muscles around the eyes, to enable the participant to develop focus and energy in the eyes. The results of this should be evident by the end of 10 days.

7:30 am – 8 am: Centres
Body exercises for warm up and flexibility.
Those exercises will be taught and practiced which, also reinforce recognition of certain centers in the body which initiate the dynamics in the body. The alignment of the body in the structures and stances of these exercises brings to awareness not only that these centers exist but also where they are located. This awareness can contribute to the creation of new movements and a new movement vocabulary as well as give the performer a control over everyday movements so as to make them performative. This aspect of the exercises, of putting to performative use the discovered centers, would be taken up in the 5pm to 7 pm session everyday.




8 am – 9 am: Physical Exercises
Kalaripayattu – the martial art of Kerala
Asanas – static postures and stances of the body aimed at concentrating awareness on a particular part of the body
Surya Namaskar – a series of asanas in motion involving the breath in the body and moving from one point of concentration in the body to another

By the end of ten days the participants would have awareness of the body centers and be equipped with a certain number of body exercises for flexibility and stamina.



9 am – 10 am: BREAKFAST


Br & Em 1


10 am -12 noon: Breath & Emotion
Adishakti has evolved a purely physical craft for the stimulation of emotion and psychological expression. As breath is the physical expression of thought and emotion, it implies that a particular emotion has a particular pattern of breath. In Koodiyattam practice there existed the knowledge of 8 patterns of breath corresponding to the 8 emotions mentioned in the classical Sanskrit treatise on performance, the Natya Shastra. It is apparent that this codification emerges from a study of breath behaviour in everyday life.

In this session, participants would be taught the 8 patterns of breath for the 8 emotions of Koodiyattam and exploring the various degrees of emotions to communicate even the subtleties of heightened emotions. The participants would start discovering the movement of the facial muscles, eyes for every emotion and learn how to naturally shape or carve the face with a backing of pure breath.

There will a 10 minute tea break between the two sessions.



Voice 1


12 noon – 2 pm: Voice
This session would assist in understanding the energy that vowels and consonants have in shaping the word. From there on, understanding the origin of sound in the body and understanding the energy of the sound of the word and its role in releasing significance. This session will provide a series of breath exercises that will help open up the voice, bring awareness to the passage of the air that produces the sound, opens the nasal cavity and helps to understand how to produce different pitches that will come out of exploring one’s vocal range. The session will also teach you methods of breathing and holding breath to produce a qualitative sound.


2 pm – 3:30 pm: LUNCH


Drumming 1


3:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Rhythm
Adishakti has extensively researched the concept of rhythm.  By playing the beats on the koodiyattam drums, the participants will learn to keep the rhythm that is mandatory for every performer. The training of the drums will enhance a better sense of rhythm in body and text.

In Koodiyattam, the rhythm that accompanies the performer is constant and feeds the performer. It feeds her inner rhythms. The breath that lies behind the expression in Koodiyattam, is one with the rhythm. Each expression, each gesture, each movement of the eye is informed by a breath which has a corresponding rhythm. If each emotion and thought has a pattern of breath then each breath has a rhythm pattern.

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm: Underwater Exercises
In this session, a series of exercises will be taught to understand the internal movements that take place in producing sound, build more resonance to voice and awakens the psychological centres of the body.

There will be a 30 minute tea break

Rhythm Application


6 pm – 9 pm: Rhythm and text
Introduction to the concept of rhythm, seen or abstract. Rhythm/time and its application in physical action, text and emotion. This session would be devoted to extending the learning of rhythm as primary governing force in every human action. Participants would be given the opportunity to study what happens when every human action has an inherent rhythm and measure. Time would be spent on improvisations based on this conscious awareness of rhythm.

9 pm : DINNER

NOTE:  The 10 day routine is rigourous. It will be physically and mentally demanding. The intensive residency programme may involve a 12 hour schedule and teachers will use all kinds of tools and devices to open up the participants.


– – – HOW TO APPLY – – –

To initiate the process of booking please send us a small CV and acceptance letter by email. For further correspondence please write to the following email address:

Or call:

Ashiqa: +91 9535779953

Nimmy: +91 9487514962


As seats are limited, send in your forms early. On hearing from us regarding your selection, book your place by sending an advance of the full fee.

Fee will be INR 45,000/- including lesson fee, accommodation on a twin sharing basis, food, laundry, etc.

For wire transfer / bank transfer the details are given below:

Name of Account Holder: Adishakti Laboratory for Theatre Art Research
Account Number: 05640200027975
Account Type: Current Account
Name and Address of Bank: Bank of Baroda, No 58-60 Vellala Street,
Pudhucherry 605001
MICR Code Number: 605012002
payments by demand draft should be payable to ALTAR or Adishakti and posted to:
Adishakti Laboratory for Theatre Art Research, Adwaitam,8 Appavou Nagar, Vazhakulam, Pondicherry 605012,India

We request that foreign nationals contact us at the coordinates below before initiating any payment transaction.

Before making either wire transfer or demand draft payment please intimate us at
the following coordinates:

Email :

Ashiqa: +91 9535779953

How to reach Adishakti
You can reach Adishakti from Chennai (the nearest airport and main train station) by road. It is a three hour journey by bus and a two and a half hour journey by taxi. From Bangalore there are direct buses to Pondicherry which take approximately seven hours.
The Adishakti Campus is 8 kilometers from Pondicherry and is 100meters off the Chennai-Tindivanam-Pondicherry highway/ the Bangalore-Tindivanam- Pondicherry highway.
Should participants need to be picked up from Chennai we could engage taxis which would meet them and bring them directly to Adishakti. A taxi charge for such a pick up is approximately Rs.2700/-,79.790767,18z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x3a5366d09c954a8b:0xcdafc887f69c9e7d!8m2!3d11.9872884!4d79.7924137?hl=en

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