Founder, Artistic Director & Managing Trustee of Adishakti, Veenapani Chawla, Passes On

I had the good fortune to personally meet Veenapani Chawla in September this year when I visited Adishakti in Pondicherry. A five minute interaction with her left a lasting impact on me. She was calm, composed, elegant, graceful, polite, caring, confident....all at once. I was really left impressed by her persona and aura. It was this meeting with her and the beauty of Adishakti, that had me be clear that it was the right place for a NaadYatra sojourn.

I was delighted last week when I learnt that Veenapani herself had offered to conduct a workshop for us on 'The Philosophy of the use of Sound'. I was ecstatic at the honour. But then learnt yesterday that she had suffered a cardiac arrest and had passed on. People like her do not pass way, they Pass on. And I am sure she has left behind not just a legacy but a competent team of Trained passionate people who will carry her work forward.

We at NaadYatra honour her Spirit, Passion and Art!

About Veenapani:

Not only had Veenapani been examined by the Trinity College of Music, London, for Singing and Piano, she had also trained with Patsy Rodenberg, the Voice Coach of the Royal Shakespeare Company in London. In India she has learnt Mayurbhanj Chhau, Kalaripayattu, Koodiyattam, and Dhrupad singing.

She had directed most of Adishakti’s performances and scripted half of these as well. Her work has toured India as well as internationally. Since 1987 Veenapani has been engaged in research towards creating a performance methodology based on old knowledges. This methodology involves a physical craft to facilitate the actor’s vocal, bodily and psychological expression. She has been disseminating this through workshops, performances and papers at Adishakti and other national and international venues.

She had been recognized with grants from the Ford Foundation{1987}, the Charles Wallace India Trust, the Department of Culture, the Det Lange Udvalga in Denmark and the India Foundation of the Arts. In 1988, she was nominated to the Advisory Committee of the Kathak Kendra (Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi, India), and in 1994 was awarded an extended Senior Fellowship from the Department of Culture in New Delhi. In 1997 she was nominated by the Department of Culture as an expert in the fields of Folk, Traditional and Indigenous Arts. In 1998, she was appointed Trustee on the Board of Trustees of the National Folklore Support Centre, Chennai. In 2011 she was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Puruskar for Theatre Director.

We look forward to having a unique NaadYatra experience at Adishakti in January, 2015!

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