Kalarasana Culturals is a not for profit trust registered in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The trust drew inspiration from the selfless work of Kalarasana an organization that was formed in the year 1975 and functioned for 40 years until 2015. Primary objective of Kalarasana Culturals is to promote Indian music and art forms. It provides a platform for emerging artists to perform in front of an august audience. Kalarasana Culturals invites established artists to perform and this opportunity provides youngsters to learn from the experienced. We are indebted to all the artists and music lovers who have supported us relentlessly and motivated us to take up this huge responsibility. The music of India includes multiple varieties of Indian classical music, folk music, Filmi, and Indian pop. India's classical music tradition, including Hindustani music and Carnatic, has a history spanning millennia and developed over several eras. Music in India began as an integral part of socio-religious life.

History of Indian Theatre

Sanskrit Theatre

                    The earliest-surviving fragments of Sanskrit drama date from the 1st century AD. The wealth of archeological evidence from earlier periods offers no indication of the existence of a tradition of theatre. The ancient Vedas (hymns from between 1500 and 1000 BC that are among the earliest examples of literature in the world) contain no hint of it (although a small number are composed in a form of dialogue) and the rituals of the Vedic period do not appear to have developed into theatre. The Mahābhāṣya by Patañjali contains the earliest reference to what may have been the seeds of Sanskrit drama. This treatise on grammar from 140 BC provides a feasible date for the beginnings of theatre in India.Read More

                    The major source of evidence for Sanskrit theatre is A Treatise on Theatre (Nātyaśāstra), a compendium whose date of composition is uncertain (estimates range from 200 BC to 200 AD) and whose authorship is attributed to Bharata Muni. The Treatise is the most complete work of dramaturgy in the ancient world. It addresses acting, dance, music, dramatic construction, architecture, costuming, make-up, props, the organisation of companies, the audience, competitions, and offers a mythological account of the origin of theatre. In doing so, it provides indications about the nature of actual theatrical practices. Sanskrit theatre was performed on sacred ground by priests who had been trained in the necessary skills (dance, music, and recitation) in a [hereditary process]. Its aim was both to educate and to entertain.

                    Performer playing Sugriva in theKoodiyattam form of Sanskrit theatre.

                    Under the patronage of royal courts, performers belonged to professional companies that were directed by a stage manager (sutradhara), who may also have acted. This task was thought of as being analogous to that of a puppeteer—the literal meaning of "sutradhara" is "holder of the strings or threads". The performers were trained rigorously in vocal and physical technique. There were no prohibitions against female performers; companies were all-male, all-female, and of mixed gender. Certain sentiments were considered inappropriate for men to enact, however, and were thought better suited to women. Some performers played characters their own age, while others played ages different from their own (whether younger or older). Of all the elements of theatre, the Treatise gives most attention to acting (abhinaya), which consists of two styles: realistic (lokadharmi) and conventional (natyadharmi), though the major focus is on the latter.

                    Its drama is regarded as the highest achievement of Sanskrit literature. It utilised stock characters, such as the hero (nayaka), heroine (nayika), or clown (vidusaka). Actors may have specialised in a particular type. Kālidāsa is arguably considered to be India's greatest Sanskrit dramatist, writing in the ca. 4th century CE-ca. 5th century CE. Three famous romantic plays written by Kālidāsa are the Mālavikāgnimitram (Mālavikā and Agnimitra), Vikramuurvashiiya (Pertaining to Vikrama and Urvashi), and Abhijñānaśākuntala (The Recognition of Shakuntala). The last was inspired by a story in the Mahabharata and is the most famous. It was the first to be translated into English and German. Śakuntalā (in English translation) influenced Goethe's Faust (1808–1832).

                    The next great Indian dramatist was Bhavabhuti (c. 7th century AD). He is said to have written the following three plays: Malati-Madhava, Mahaviracharita and Uttar Ramacharita. Among these three, the last two cover between them the entire epic of Ramayana. The powerful Indian emperor Harsha (606-648) is credited with having written three plays: the comedy Ratnavali, Priyadarsika, and the Buddhist drama Nagananda.

History of Kalarasana

                    The Tamil Meaning of “Kalarasana” is “Kalai Rasipathu” i.e., enjoying all art forms. This organization was formed way back in 1977 on Ganesh Chathurthi day with the noble objective of supporting all Indian art and music forms. Kalarasana originated from Triplicane, Chennai a place which is well known for stalwarts like Tamil Thata “UVE Swaminatha Iyer”, mathematics legend Shri.Ramanujam and Mahakavi Bharathiyar. Swami Vivekananda too stayed in Triplicane when he visited Chennai. Read More

                    Friends from all walks joined together in the formation of Kalarasana. The Inauguration of Kalarasana took place at Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha Hall till 1977 and from 1978 onwards were with Kalaivanar Arangam Kalarasana shifted its venue to Rani Seethai Hall when the Hall was opened at the Heart of Chennai, Mount Road. Until the time Kalarasana moved into Rani Seethai Hall, it was supporting dramas and cinemas. However the proximity to the Carnatic Music hosting sabhas made Kalarasana to start hosting Carnatic Music Festival in the so called December Music Season. Music lovers from all over India thronged the venue and gave an overwhelming reception to the new music festival.

                    The doyen of Carnatic Music Shri.Lalgudi Jayaraman lit the lamp for the first Carnatic Music Festival of Kalarasana. Since then Kalarasan has crossed many milestones. Kalarasana is the one and only cultural organization that felicitated many artists from both drama as well music fields. Kalarasana is the first organization that celebrated when Janaki Amma got the National Award.

                    Ace comedian Shri Pandu had made several memontos for Kalarasana when he was running the business. When Thanneer Thanneer drama by Komal Swaminathan was put up in Kalarasana it was attended by an enthusiastic and august gathering that included stalwarts like Late K.Balachandar, Bharathi Raja and Muthuraman. Kalarasana is the only cultural organization that fulfilled the 3 art forms as defined in Tamil literature; Iyal, Isai and Nadakam.

                    On many occasions Kalarasana had organized dramas right from morning 9:00 am to night 10:00 pm. As the Kalarasana’s founding fathers grew old, one of the present Trustee Shri.K.V.Nagarajan took upon with him the responsibility of carrying the initiative forward. He co-founded a trust called “Kalarasana Culturals” towards this objective with the philanthropist T K Sreedhar, CMD of SP Group of Companies. With vast experience gained over the number of years Shri.K.V.Nagarajan is sure to go into the history of Indian arts and music as one of the patrons who worked selflessly.

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