Adishakti  Laboratory for Theatre Art Research, was founded in 1981 in Mumbai. It now has its campus on the outskirts of Auroville, where artists and experts from a variety of other fields come on residency programs, sabbaticals, performances and workshops.

We are a performance and research organization. As a performance company Adishakti has a constituency at the regional, national and international level. Our research, aims at evolving a new aesthetic, in response to the dilemma’s posed by post-colonialism. And we attempt to do this by marrying differences, such as for example, different times—-the traditional with the contemporary. Thus a most important partner in Adishakti’s work towards creating a new aesthetic is the traditional performer.

Adishakti acts on the premise, that past disciplines need to be deliberately displaced from their own context in order to throw up a range of new elements within them, not formerly known or apprehended. Within this understanding, our position is that the contemporary performer is privileged as a critic whose task it is to reinterpret and, as it were, fill in the blanks within specific traditional forms. So, in our encounter with the traditional artist, we have endeavored, of course, to clarify our own formal and imaginative directions, but also, and equally, to stimulate the traditional artist to discover old forms anew. The encounter, thus, is premised upon a powerful recognition of mutual worth and capability.

Adishakti also engages with different spaces {intercultural and intra-cultural} and different disciplines. In the main Adishakti’s work and experiments are driven, quite simply, by its apprehension of art/aesthetic practice as a unique bridge between a range of diverse realms, which are not normally, or visibly, in communication with each other. It believes that such bridging releases a plurality of knowledges; both old and new, from within the various disciplines it interacts with.

Another word about bridges. Adishakti finds the notion of creating bridges between diverse fields profoundly resonant in the context of the world we currently occupy, in the wake of globalization. To put this simply, where once the idea of human unity relied on, and so reinforced, the binding effects of external boundaries (national, cultural, religious, racial), it is now founded, rather more meaningfully, on the subtle interconnectedness between disparate peoples, localities, knowledges; and where the idea of external unity often tended (and continues to do so in virulent forms of cultural nationalism) to level out the differences between individuals and knowledge systems, the idea of interconnectedness privileges communication over homogeneity.

Aesthetic practice, with its bridging potential, has a great deal to offer this new, as yet incipient, politics of interconnection. For in each of its efforts, in a sense, Adishakti has scrupulously maintained that the proper site for ‘new creativity’ is the bridge itself; such that it does not require either participant in a creative interchange to cross over to the other side. Rather, its interest is in the confusions, ellipses and errors of language, which occur, as it were, in passing.

It is with the creation and fostering of such spaces {THE MIXED OR THE HYBRID SPACE} that our aesthetic concerns itself.

e-mail: adishaktiprogram [at]
phones: +91 413 2622287, 2622402
mobile: +91 9487514962 / +91 9443389963
No. 121/4AB, Edayanchavadi Road, Vanur Taluk, Irumbai Panchayat,
Villupuram District, Tamil Nadu – 605101


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