Theatre Awardee 2017: Vishnu Nanthuni
Vishnu Nanthuni is one of the two recipients of this year’s Theatre Awards. In the blogpost below he shares how he will use theatre as a medium for social change.
I started out as a theatre performer at the age of seven in my small village in Kerala. We used to perform folk arts depicting the little struggles of daily chores. During my 24 years as a theatre practitioner I have been exposed to a variety of art forms and folk songs from Kerala. I remember traveling with my plays from one village to the next, to spread social awareness and joy.
I am trained in various forms, thread weaving dance, folk songs and kalaripayattu to name a few. My practice leads me to explore the relevance of the classic and folk art forms in contemporary times. Folk songs tell people’s life, they are instrumental in conveying these stories in a natakam.
Recently, I have started to research kalaripayattu. Often perceived as a martial art it is an art form, which has great potential to be explored in a theatrical form. It expresses a sense of poetry with each of its paitt and chuvadu, the basic kalari movements. Each movement is dramatically expressive and meaningful.
I have been trained in the southern style of Kalaripayattu, Thekkan and now I plan to explore the northern style, Wadakkan, of the art. The latter style specializes in animal postures focusing on body flexibility along with the body mind coordination.
My work evolves and revolves around the small struggles of the people. So, my theatre is for change, changing society, changing people, changing lives as a whole. The Inlaks award will be a big support in my endeavor.