Koumarane Valavane’s KARUPPU


Director: Koumarane Valavane

Group: Indianostrum Theatre, Pondicherry

Language: English

Duration: 1 hr 5 mins

The Play

Karuppu is a dance-drama representation of the movement of Purusha and Prakriti energies through the birth, destruction and rebirth of the universe. The separation of Purusha from Prakriti destroys the universe; but the destruction is not permanent as nothing is. Only in the powerful destruction of the world and all its constituent materials and forms, by Karuppu (Dark) energy, is the reunion of Consciousness and Nature possible, giving rebirth to all of existence. Karuppu depicts a universe absorbing all imbalances making itself a black hole from which rebirth of everything anew is possible.

Director’s Note

Karuppu, this is the black spot that we put on the cheek of a newborn. . .

Karuppu, is the nocturnal silhouette that will try to seize us at the corner of a deserted street. . .

Karuppu is the spirit that keeps the man alert. . .

Karuppu is the goddess Kali, the ultimate form of energy, the one needed to destroy everything. . .

Karuppu is also a world without God, without a creator, without the paternal guru omnipresent where the Man, alone in the face of his destiny, learns to tame the dark forces.

Karuppu is not evil but the darkness contained in him of whom he is wary, he conjures the hold through rituals. . .

Karuppu is the vision of a world born simply from the union between Pakriti (the feminine) and Purusha (the masculine). This union between energy and consciousness, dynamic of a whole universe is as fragile as the relationship between man and woman. . .

In the form of a dance-theatre we make and break the bonds that unite Purusha (the man) and Pakriti (the woman) through mythical characters including Iphigenia, Ophelia, Clytemnestra, Medea and Kali.

The Director

Koumarane Valavane, a Franco-Indian, who left for France in his early years for studies, started practicing theatre at a very young age. In the University of Marseille, he along with his friends created a cultural association which was called Centre Culturel de Luminy, and which made theatre its primary element. After completing his research in Theoretical Physics, he founded his own theatre company Natya. For 3 years he worked as an actor at Theatre du Soleil, the renowned theatre company in Paris, before returning to India in 2006. With the rich experience of contemporary theatre gained in France, Koumarane returned home with a decision to continue exploring theatre at home. His thought began to spread its roots when he met a few young people at Alliance Francaise de Madras. This small group connected by the passion to do theatre, decided to form a theatre group and created Indianostrum in 2007.

The Group

Indianostrum Théâtre was founded by Koumarane Valavane, a French-Indian director in the year 2007, along with few young actors who were ready to gamble their flourishing careers in conventional fields for their passion for theatre. Indianostrum’s core aim is to expand the role of modern theatre in the cultural life of the country, by developing new modern texts, finding the specificities of Indian modern theatre, exploring its relationship with traditional forms, and transcending political, social and historical divides.

Cast & Credits

On Stage: Abinaya Ganeshan, David Salamon P., Mani Bharathi G., Priyadarshini Chakravarty, Ruchi Raveendran, Santhosh kumar. C, Saranjith N. K., Vasanth Selvam

Music: Jean – Jacques Lemetre, ‘Requiem’ by Mozart, Tribal Oppari, Tibetan ritual music, ‘The rite of spring’ by Igor Stravinsky, ‘Therenody for the Victims of Hiroshima’ by Krzysztof Penderecki

Voice-Over: Kalieaswari Srinivasan (The Seagull by Anton Chekhov)

Light Design Execution: Baby Charles

Administration: Priti Bakalkar, Sudheesh K

Direction: Koumarane Valavane

Manohar Khushalani

Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is a former Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he taught were: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won a total of nine Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Earlier he retired from Government of India as Director Environment Management, Central Water Commission and held many senior positions in the Government Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: www.onevorld.org and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.in He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He was an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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