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06 Sep 2010

Adishakti Laboratory for Theatre Arts Research

Adishakti Laboratory for Theatre Arts & Research is a site on the outskirts of Pondicherry, and a performing arts company engaged in creating performances, researching genres and disciplines and creating processes and performance methodologies. The team comprises of writers, directors, actors, musicians, dancers, and performers of various art forms. Their findings are disseminated to a diverse community of artistes, academicians, writers, architects, and others through workshops, seminars, residencies, and master classes. They also host retreats and sabbaticals that reach across cultures, geography, concerns, and genres, and thus engage with many visitors to their campus, who come from all over the world and from a dazzling variety of disciplines and backgrounds.

These activities reflect their primary concern: the creation of new knowledge towards new creativity, by bridging different times, spaces and disciplines.

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 in 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.

Adishakti is more than a contemporary performing arts company – they are a theatre arts research laboratory, and as such, conduct extensive and ongoing research into the craft of theatre, as well as into performance methodology in general. The Adishakti campus also boasts of extensive documentary materials created and gathered in the course of this research, and we invite visitors to view these archives, as well as to share the outcomes of our research.

Due to its research into performance techniques over the last twenty years, Adishakti has evolved a pedagogical system of performance training, which a large number of performers from elsewhere seek to avail of. As Adishakti now has the infrastructure it can house such performers as well.

Adishakti also offers its space to artists from all parts of the world to come to live on its campus either to do their own work or to train with Adishakti. Adishakti also hosts Workshops by other organisations.