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Connecting the Five Senses in the Actor Training of Theatre

By Gopalan Nair Venu and Kapila Venu (India)

“The objects of your ‘inner attention’ are scattered through the whole range of your five senses” – says Konstantin Stanislavsky in his treatise An Actor Prepares. The assimilation through the five senses in acting has been a unique aspect of the training methodology that was followed in Kerala, especially at the Kodungallur Kalari; that it had not been mentioned in Natyasastra makes it more exceptional. However, Balaramabharatham, the treatise on dance composed by Maharaja Kartika Tirunal Balaramavarma contains references to the association between acting and the five senses.


We review an acting exercise connecting the five senses developed by us at Natanakairali based on all the available documents for the teaching method of Navarasa Sadhana. 

For the last decade, the Abhinaya Kalari of Natanakairali at Irinjalakuda had been witnessing the efforts to introduce the Navarasa Sadhana as a mandatory part of the actors’ daily practice/training. Many dancers and actors from various fields of performance working within both India and abroad have already been imparted the primary training in this system. Efforts are continuing on this work.

Earlier Event: November 30
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