The definitive information resource for South Asian dance in the UK
Photo courtesy - The Drama School Mumbai

India Theatre Programme, Pondicherry India

Start date: 2 Jul 2016

End date: 31 Jul 2016

Venue: Adishakti Campus, Pondicherry



Phone: +91 9619 336 336

Box office:

Through an engagement with four traditional forms of Indian theatre, participants will explore the necessary connection between mind, body and being – referred to in the sloka at the top of this page – and through this exploration find their own performative truth.


The India Theatre Programme is aimed at theatre practitioners from across the world who are interested in expanding the range of methodologies that inform their practice, and at actors and students of theatre who are keen to work across cultural boundaries to explore other systems of performance.
The forms that will be taught are supported by learnings from ancient dramaturgical texts such as the Natyashastra, in a format that is accessible to contemporary practitioners. In order to help study dramatically different ways of telling a story, the same excerpts and episodes from ancient Indian epics especially the Mahabharata, will be explored.


The key forms that will be explored are:

  • Kudiyattam – a 2000 ­year ­old classical theatre form of Kerala – known for the hyper real, emotionally­ charged performances of its artists. More here
  • Terrakoothu – a folk theatre form  known for its gregarious costumed archetypes, and improvised dialogues around standard scenarios. More here
  • Kudiyattam drumming – a rhythm form designed purely for the accompaniment of dramatic performance. More here
  • Seraikella Chhau ­– a martial art dance form famous for its use of neutral masks. More here

In addition participants will also attend multiple performances and lectures curated around the learning needs of the programme.
More here.


The programme will be conducted at the exquisite Adishakti campus inPondicherry in South India. It was set up by Veenapani Chawla, a visionary of modern Indian theatre, who till her recent demise was responsible for constantly seeking truths through ancient Indian theatre traditions and presenting them to contemporary audiences. Based in Pondicherry, Adishakti houses its own creation spaces, an auditorium based on traditional principles (Koothukovil), eco-­friendly Laurie Baker ­style rooms, a swimming pool, as well as the Hindustan Kalari Sangh and Auroville in the vicinity.

Programme Initiator
The India Theatre Programme has been brought to you by The Drama School, Mumbai, an initiative of Theatre Professionals.
Over the last six years, Theatre Professionals has evolved a pedagogy based on the understanding that all forms of theatre have the same principles at their core. Principles that can be distilled into a unity of body, voice, and imagination, and that is eventually manifested through breath – the life force of all living beings. Thus, we evolved a framework of collaborative pedagogy between master practitioners from diverse backgrounds, that is now the hallmark of our training.

The India Theatre Programme was the next step in this evolution: to bring together different Indian theatre forms, identify the principles of good theatre-­making that are common to them, and to make them accessible to practitioners today.