Modern Perspective. Ancient Traditions. Timeless Values.

"One felt transported to former time...there was nothing extravagant about it. Yet it was superbly simple."
- (July 2004)

"A powerful narrative, superbly handled in a manner that befits a remarkable ancient text of its caliber."
- Akhila Krishnamurthy, Femina (July 2004)

"Never before has the organization (CCA) produced so grand a theatrical spectacle...the elaborate dance drama made a stunning impression�the production was beautifully conceived.."
- Wilma Salisbury, Cleveland Plain Dealer (September 2004)

"Be it in costume design or scene setting... selection of artists they provided a feast of a show."
- K.T. Jagannathan, The Hindu (April 2004)

"Pace was gripping, narration crisp...entire show was perfectly rehearsed."
- Gowri Ramnarayan, The Hindu (April 2004)

Past Productions

Silappadhikaaram - a story of women of substance

The Team

Choreographer: G. NarendraG. Narendra
CCA audiences are familiar with the work of Narendra, who is rapidly building an international reputation as a talented dancer - choreographer. He was trained in Bharata Natyam at Kalakshetra and is recognized as a classical dancer who combines excellence in technique with subtlety in interpretation. He is CCA's Artistic Director and his imaginative choreography was seen in our last two productions, Abhyaasa and The Living Tree. In fact, he has been critically acclaimed as a classicist for the production, Abhyaasa, and as a choreographer adept at combining classical, folk and contemporary styles into the dance theatre production, The Living Tree. He and Mahalakshmi have established a dance company called Avigna - a company of professional dancers of excellence and commitment.
He now accepts the challenge of choreographing an historical and literary work of ancient Tamil literature - a story of courage and passion. Audiences can certainly look forward to an exciting, entertaining and thought provoking experience.

Music Director: JayashriJayashri
Jayashri as she is popularly known, is widely recognized as one of India's leading classical musicians. Not just as a female vocalist, or Carnataka vocalist, but as a classical musician, period. Almost all classical music forms, be they Indian or western, have their roots in devotional themes or regal courts. Music based on devotional themes, even when it has no lyrics or the lyrics themselves are not devotional, tends to move us emotionally. Around the world, there have been and are a few singers whose rendition of such music appears to give us a movingly clear feel for how the composers themselves must have felt centuries ago and the depth of feeling their compositions were intended to convey. Jayashri is one such uniquely gifted musician.
Jayashri is from a musical family, with her parents and grand parents having been teachers of classical music. Her formative training was under T.R. Balamani in Bombay, with subsequent advanced training under the great violinist Lalgudi G. Jayaraman. Jayashri has demonstrated her respect for her teachers as only the best among students do, she has now made them additionally famous for having been her teachers.

Costume Designer: Lakshmi SrinathLakshmi Srinath
Lakshmi's academic training in Fine Arts and the guidance of renowned Indian artist A.V.Ilango has given form to her natural desire for artistic expression. Earthy and culture related creativity pervades the expanse of her canvases and her garment creations. Culture, aesthetics and the lifestyles of people influence her art and designs. She derives her earthy color sensibility from ancient classical and South Indian folk art, with its decorative elements and vivid colors. Her idiom is the cultural richness of South Indian lifestyles belonging to both the urban and the rural milieu. Lakshmi has participated in several group shows in India and france and was awarded the Prix de la Peinture Contemporaire of the Societe Lyonnaise des Beaux Arts, Lyons in 2002.

Script Writer: Kanimozhi Karunanidhi
Kanimozhi hails from a literary family. Her father, M. Karunanidhi is a noted scholar of Tamil literature, author and poet, as is her mother. Kani has been an ardent lover of Sangam literature and is also earning a name as a dynamic young contemporary poet. She writes for the India Today Tamil edition and for women's magazines. She is a published poet and her second volume of poetry is to be published shortly. She says,"I would like to write poetry which has shed all its frills but takes its beauty from life and truth� I love to explore possibilities� this project will be an exploration into form and structure in a very personal way for me.. a rethinking of values and images I have been brought up with."

Set and Logo Designer: A.V.Ilango
Ilango is a highly respected contemporary artist of India. Having grown up in a rural town, he absorbed the brilliant sights and sounds of rural India and even after his move to Chennai, he has melded these colors and flavors with cityscapes to evolve a style that is rich in the tradition and culture of South India but in a contemporary linear format, vibrant with color and pulsating with life, yet elegantly simple. "I am fascinated by form and space, I go with them on a voyage of discovery to understand their complexity and simplicity." He is a Mathematics professor and an artist of high repute- truly a unique combination. He has shown his works all over India, France, Malaysia, Singapore and Great Britain. He has illustrated several books, and infact, we are proud to admit that his illustrations for a translation of Silappadhikaaram was one of the motivating factors for this production.

Production Designer: Depikka Nagaraj
Depikka is a multi dimensional artist. Trained by the renowned dancer, Leela Samson, she considers classical dance an inseparable part of her being. Since moving to Chennai, she has created an additional dimension to her artistic expression - BIMBA The Art Hut. Bimba, roughly translated from Sanskrit, connotes image or reflection. The Bimba range of creations mirrors the artist's sensibilities and experiences. Depikka works with several media - cotton, stone, ceramics, pottery , hand made paper, jute, terracotta, glass and cane. Her forte is creating beautiful, simple forms in an aesthetic manner. Silappadhikaaram needs a designer with an understanding of classical dance, classical times and the creativity to design a production with authenticity and subtlety. Depikka is the ideal choice.

Avigna Dance Ensemble
Mahalakshmi, G.Narendra, C.A.Joy, Thiruchelwam, Deepa Narayan, J.Lavanya, Krishnakshi Sharma, M.Suhasini, Guhendran, Madhusudhanan, Vidya Prabha, Renjith, Bikmouline Fail and Swarna.
We are also in the process of selecting a lighting designer, one who will understand the needs of the production and accordingly provide us with an appropriate plan.