Kalaripayattu and Natyashastra, according to Tantra, have their origins from the sixty-four kalas (arts) that Lord Shiva is said to have created. Whatever the mythological origins, the thread of commonality in the movement is distinct and unmistakable. The Natyashastra Project seeks to delve into this aspect of movement and the association of Kalaripayattu with several movement-based art forms, both classical and contemporary.
Aarabhadi, that aspect of the movements which is described in Natyashastra, shares common space with movements in Kalaripayattu. And therefore, it is not surprising to find that accomplished dancers and performers use Kalaripayattu as a training tool to hone balance and strength in their movements.
Kalaripayattu has been instrumental in the development of classical art forms like Kathakali and Mohiniyattam and is an inseparable aspect of folk arts like Theyyam and Chavuttunadagam. We find several instances of contemporary dancers incorporating Kalari training and movements as an integral aspect of their movements.
The Natyashastra project seeks to explore this space and discover the threads of convergence and divergence. The research will also cover aspects of movement that influence the body and mind, and the influence of repetitive movements in learning, memory, and creativity. The project invites experts from different art forms to work together and discover new boundaries of cooperation in movement-based theatre while serving as an authentic repository of research done in this field.