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Chandralekha In the Voice of the Other

Author Name: Shaji K. John | Format: Paperback | Genre : Biographies & Autobiographies | Other Details

Kalarippayattu is an indigenous martial art of Kerala. I am a traditionally trained Kalarippayattu practitioner. I joined the Indian contemporary dance-choreographer, Chandralekha (1928–2006), in Chennai, as instructed by my Kalari Guru Shri E P Vasudevan Gurukkal (1932–2015) (Kaduthuruthy, Kerala). I worked with Chandralekha and performed nine of her creative productions for twenty years (1986–2006). I continued to perform her last creative production for another ten years. In this book, I am narrating my thirty years (1986–2016) of experience performing the creative works of Chandralekha.

“…he has the capacity to ‘disappear’ when he moves. We don’t see him, we see the movement.”

“…He does not represent the movement. He is the movement. Or more simply, he is.”

–        Rustom Bharucha 

(Chandralekha: Woman Dance Resistance, pp.253-4.)

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Shaji K. John

Shaji K John (b.1970) is a professional Kalarippayattu instructor. He is a student of Shri E P Vasudevan Gurukkal, Kaduthuruthy (Kerala), and has been trained in the Northern Style Kalarippayattu for nearly ten years. He has won the District Championship (1986–1991) and State Championship (1988–1989) in Kerala. Shaji joined the dance-choreographer, Chandralekha, under the instruction of his Gurukkal. He has performed in nine creative productions of Chandralekha, between 1986 and 2016, in both national and international venues. He self-published his first book titled Kalarippayattu: The Martial and Healing Art of Kerala in 2011. Shaji currently conducts regular Kalarippayattu classes in Chennai that have been ongoing since 1998.