Veenapani Chawla is an actor, director, choreographer, writer and composer. She founded the Adishakti Laboratory for Theatre Art Research in Pondicherry to promote research into the creation of new performance methodologies. Since then, she has presented many papers on the subject, and has scripted and directed several of Adishakti’s performances. She is an exponent in Mayurbhanj Chhau, Kalaripayattu, Koodiyattam and Dhrupad singing. Among the awards she has received are the Zee Astiva Award in 2006 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Puruskar in 2010.

Veenapani holds a B.Ed., an M.A. in History and an M.A. in Political Philosophy. She has trained under Patsy Rodenburg, the Voice Coach of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and was once at Eugenio Barba’s Odin Teatret in Holstebro, Denmark. A book focusing on her work, The Theatre of Veenapani Chawla: Theory, Practice and Performance (OUP), was edited by Shanta Gokhale.

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