Interweaving Performance Cultures
Anuradha Kapur is a theatre-maker and teacher. Her theatre work has travelled nationally and internationally, and she has taught in theatre schools and universities in India and abroad. She is a founding member of Vivadi, a working group of theatre practitioners, visual artists, film-makers, musicians and writers. Vivadi seeks to do interdisciplinary work and attempts exchange between practice and research. Vivadi’s works have ranged from performance sculptures and installation projects (409 Ramkinkars, on the practice of the artist Ram Kinkar Baij, 2015) to working on actor’s biographies, on texts ranging from Tagore, Mohammed Hadi Ruswa, Mahesh Elkunchwar, Vijay Tendulkar, Shakespeare, Ibsen and Heiner Müller, among others. Her writings on performance have been widely anthologized and her book, Actors Pilgrims Kings and Gods: the Ramlila at Ramnagar, was published by Seagull Books, Calcutta (1993, 2004). Anuradha Kapur was invited to curate the performance window for body.city: siting contemporary culture in India, presented at the House of World Cultures, Berlin, in September 2003. She cocurated the theatre section of the Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa in 2016 and will do the 2017 edition as well. Anuradha Kapur completed her term as Director, National School of Drama, New Delhi, in 2013, where she was also Professor of Acting and Direction. She is presently Visiting Professor at Ambedkar University, Delhi.
I want to think about contemporary theatre practices in India, especially of the last decade, where material, materiality and site have come to be important aspects of production. While site and material have been part of traditional practices, contemporary approaches seek to disalign these as well as converse with them. I want to reflect on what these dialogues are and how they have intervened in the expanded field of theatre-making in India today.
A. Sengupta, Mapping South Asia through Contemporary Theatre: Essays on the Theatres of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
Anuradha Kapur, "Impersonation, Narration and Desire," in Vasudha Dalmia, and Stuart Blackburn (eds), India’s Literary History: Essays on the Nineteenth Century, Delhi: Permanent Black, 2003, pp. 87-118.
Anuradha Kapur, "Actors Prepare," in Indira Chandrasekhar and Peter C. Seel (eds) body. city: siting contemporary culture in India, Delhi and The House of World Cultures, Berlin: Tulika Books, 2003, pp. 119-147.
Anuradha Kapur,"Taking the Instrument Apart: Body, Ghost," in Madhusree Dutta, Kaushik Bahumik and Rohan Shivkumar, (eds.) Project Cinema City, New Delhi: Tulika Books, 2013, pp. 295-302.
Bree Hadley, Anuradha Kapur, Clarissa Ruiz, Sheena Wrigley, “Vision, Viability and Value : Three perspectives on the performing arts across cultures, context and nations, ", Performance Research, Vol. 18, No. 2, On Value, pp. 95-101.
A. Mangai, Acting Up: Gender and Theatre in India, 1979 onwards, Delhi: LeftWord Books, 2015.