For the production of a film on Koothu-p-pattarai (KPP), a pioneering theatre group in Tamil Nadu. Video recordings of KPP’s activities over the last fifteen years will be complied, interreted and edited to capture the evolution of a very particular syntax of experimental theatre, the tensions within the group and the changes it has witnessed. Fresh footage will also be shot to illustrate KPP’s present character and highlight viewpoints critical of the group’s artistic vision and accomplishments.
For translating a theatre group’s production Brhannala into a film envisaged as a work that will explore the intrinsic differences between theatre and cinema in relation to ideas of space and time. Members of the theatre group, who are used to sharing a physical space with the audience, would be led to re-imagine their roles when they act in the film.
For implementing the strategic plan of a theatre group, which had received an earlier grant for preparatory work, to reach new audiences, improve management and public relations, and generate income through performance tours, workshops and training programmes.
For cataloguing and microfilming material on early Tamil cinema held at the Roja Muthiah Reference Library in Chennai. The gaps in this collection will be filled by acquiring or microfilming privately-held print material on Tamil cinema, and a database of the enhanced collection will be made available in English and Tamil.
For dissertation research on the development of a ‘national’ theatre in India, analysing and evaluating post-independence cultural policy and the role of institutions like the Sangeet Natak Akademi and the National School of Drama. The study will explore the role of the state in creating and propagating aesthetic hierarchies.
For collaborative research, involving a centre of music research and training in Tamil Nadu and a school of performing arts in Kerala, towards the identification, documentation and notation of ragas and talas in Sopanam music, a near-extinct form of temple-singing. The research will result in selective video documentation of Sopanam artists.
For making a documentary video film on the shadow puppet theatre of south India. The film will record the lives of shadow puppeteers, examine the performative and technical aspects of their art, and attempt to identify useful comparisons and intersections between shadow puppetry and cinema.
For research towards an illustrated book on itinerant toymakers from various parts of the country. The study will document the lifestyles and craft of toymakers and identify possible measures to alleviate their lot. The research is expected to lead to published articles as well as lecture demonstrations and workshops on toy making.
For video and audio documentation of the oral and performative elements of sadir, locating it within the context of the Isai Vellalar community, whose few surviving members are the only exponents of this dance form.