For the production of a new choreographic work titled Beautiful Thing 1. This performance will investigate the interplay of sound, word, movement and meaning, and attempt to bridge the gaps between our historical memories and contemporary selves.
For the making of a two-part film on the Draupadi Amman Mahabharatha Koothu festival that is celebrated in over 200 villages in Tamil Nadu every year. Draupadi is the presiding deity of the festival and the Mahabharata is narrated as a story, re-created as theatre and performed as a ritual for her. The first part of the film will explore the mythology of the Draupadi cult and the history of the region, the second part will document the villagers reciting, performing and living the Mahabharata for the duration of the festival.
For conceptualising and producing an installation based on the video documentation of the unique performance language developed in Brhannala, a production by Adishakti, a Pondicherry based theatre group.
For research into comic book culture in India towards developing a script/storyboard for a video or comic book. The relationship between the mediums of film, painting and comic books will be explored through a combination of research, video documentation and making of an art work.
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 preparatory research towards a novel about the caste wars waged by the Nadar community in Tirunelveli and Madurai districts in Tamil Nadu during the 19th and 20th centuries. Based on an examination of archived police, court and other documents of the colonial administration, the novel will transform factual history into an emotionally ‘true’ portrait of these turbulent times in the life of the Nadar community, which in turn fed into the larger Indian struggle for independence.
For research towards the writing of a novelised history of Tiruchenkode in Namakkal district, Tamil Nadu. A town with an ancient history, Tiruchenkode is today marked by its hill temple dedicated to Murugan and Ardhanareeswara but is also known for its vibrant modern industry. In the course of writing a historical account of Tiruchenkode, the author will document references to the town in literature, folklore and mythology, analyse the town’s design and study its ritual and religious life.
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 the development of Correlated Objective Music Education and Training (COMET), a three-year professional music-education programme that uses technology to simplify the teaching and learning of music. The grant will also be used to develop short-term music education courses using COMET methodology, and for promotional and fundraising activities that will make the programme self-sustainable.
For creating a platform for shadow puppetry through a festival of performances and workshops across Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. The touring festival is expected to help develop support systems for shadow puppeteers by enhancing their visibility and generating an audience for R.V. Ramani’s feature-length documentary film on the subject, Nee Engey.