Serendipity Arts Foundation
Performing Arts Grant – Theatre
Neelam Man Singh Chowdhry
Neelam Man Singh Chowdhry has a Master’s degree in the History of Arts as well as a diploma from the National School of Drama. In 1979, she moved to Bhopal and was attached to The Rang Mandal, a theatre repertory attached to the Multi-arts Complex, Bharat Bhavan. In 1984, she moved to Chandigarh where she set up her own theatre company called ‘The Company.’ Alongside the Company, she has also been teaching in the Department of Indian Theatre, Panjab University and was also the Chairperson. Her well-known plays include Kitchen Katha, The Suit, Yerma, Nagamandala The Mad Woman of Chaillot, Little Eyolf, Bitter Fruit and Naked Voices Gumm Hai to name a few . The group has participated in major national and international festival. Dr. Chowdhry is the recipient of several awards including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2003, and the Padma Shri (2011) . She is presently Professor Emeritus at the Panjab University.
Rajiv Krishnan started his journey in theatre as an actor. He directed his first play, an Indian Adaptation of ‘Accidental Death of an Anarchist’ by Dario Fo in 2000. He was one of the founder members of Perch, a performance collective in 2008. The plays that he has directed for Perch include ‘Under the Mangosteen Tree’, ‘Ms. Meena’, ‘Kira Kozhambu’, ‘Jujubee’, ‘How to Skin a Giraffe’ and ‘Mondays are best for flying out of windows’. Perch’s plays’ are usually multilingual, collaborative and ensemble driven with a strong emphasis on visual design and music.
Visual Arts Research Grant
Sanchayan Ghosh (Visual Artist and pedagogue)
(b. 1970) Born in Kolkata. Lives and works in Santiniketan, India. He is currently an Associate Professor, Department of Painting, Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan. He completed his Masters of Fine Arts, Department of Painting, Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan in 1997.
Through his continuous exploration in site-specific interactive art practice, Ghosh has over the years been exploring workshop based collective community dialogues and also worked with different theater forms from all over India. He has been awarded Charles Wallace Fellowship,UK in 2004 and worked on “Merge Down and Resist” with 3 generations of Asian migrants in Bristol. He has also participated in Kochi Muziris Biennale and explored a community sound project “Incomplete Circles, Invisible Voices” in 2012. He has participated in the aneducation project Under The Mango Tree in Documenta14 and conducted a Circle Walk in 2017. He has been also associated with different pedagogy projects with NSD, FICA and Five Million Incidents of Max Mueller Bhavana, Kolkata. He also co-curated the second session of Under The Mango Tree in Santiniketan in 2020. He also one of the curators of the 2018 Kochi- Muziris Students’ Biennale, Kochi.
Ghosh’s collaborative sound project (work of art) ‘Short Wave’s Transit Tales’ is commissioned by Documenta (the German international exhibition project, under its Radio project and was transmitted in 8 countries of 4 continents). This piece has been recently selected as one of the 80 works from the world to be shown in three exhibitions in Basel, Switzerland and Berlin and Weimar, Germany.
His selected solo exhibitions include Reversed Perspective:3 Conjunctures, 2014 and Sisyphus Effect, Experimenter, Kolkata, 2010. He lives and works in Kolkata and Santiniketan.
Sneha Ragavan is Senior Researcher and Projects Lead for Asia Art Archive in India, based in New Delhi. Together with colleagues, she works on projects that range from digitising artist archives and creating online bibliographies to editing publications and organising workshops and seminars on art history in the region. She holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, for her work on the national modern in twentieth century architectural discourse in India, and has a Masters in Art History and Aesthetics from the Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU, Baroda. She was recently the recipient of the Ila Dalmia-FICA Research Grant 2019 for a project exploring the lives and work of five ‘women sculptors’ from India
Performing Arts Research Grant
Navtej Singh Johar
Navtej Singh Johar is a dancer-choreographer, scholar, yoga exponent, and a social activist. A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for Contemporary Choreography (2014), his work—within all fields of his varied interests—remains consistently body-centric. It twines practice with critical theory and social action, traverses freely between the traditional and the contemporary, and rigorously engages both the philosophical and the sociological discourses of the body. His choreography draws on plural vocabularies: bharatanatyam, yoga, physical-theatre and somatics, and has won critical acclaim both nationally and internationally. A research fellow at the International Research Centre, “Interweaving Performance Cultures”, Freie University, Berlin, Johar teaches Dance Studies at the Ashoka University, India. Founder-director of Studio Abhyas, New Delhi, a space devoted to refining the processes of embodied Indian practices as well as examining their historical contexts, Johar has devised two pedagogical methods, the BARPS method, designed to practice asana more effectively, and Abhyas Somatics, a practice that aims to evoke rasa and sukha that are essential to Indian aesthetics and Yoga respectively.
Dr. Trina Nileena Banerjee
After completing her MA in English Literature from Jadavpur University, Trina Nileena Banerjee proceeded to complete a Masters of Studies (M St.) in English at the University of Oxford. For her PhD, she worked on a history of women in the group theatre movement in Bengal between 1950 and 1980. She has also been researching the interfaces between women’s movements and political theatre in contemporary Manipur for several years now. Her essays and reviews on these and other subjects have appeared in national and international journals, as well as in several edited volumes. She writes both in English and in Bengali. Between 2011 and 2013, she taught at the Theatre and Performance Studies Department at the School of Arts and Aesthetics in Jawaharlal Nehru University. She is currently Assistant Professor in Cultural Studies at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta. Her essays have been published in several edited volumes and national/international journals. She writes in both Bengali and English. Her research interests include Gender, Performance, Political Theatre, Theories of the Body, Postcolonial Theatre and South Asian History. She has also been a theatre and film actress, as well as a journalist and fiction writer. Her book Performing Silence: Women in the Group Theatre Movement in Bengal is forthcoming from Oxford University Press (India) in 2020.