Heisnam KanhailalHeisnam Kanhailal has been active in theatre for the last 40 years as a playwright, director and actor. Founder-Director of Kalakshetra Manipur (KKM), he has played a pivotal role in the experimental theatre movement, working to discover an alternative theatre language while using the rich Manipuri traditional performing arts and culture as a springboard. He has conducted actor-training workshops all over the country, has worked with international theatre groups, written and directed several plays. He has also conducted a research project for formulation of a new actor-training methodology with the help of the Ford Foundation Grant, Nehru Memorial Fellowship and Emeritus Fellowship. He specifically succeeded in countering with the culture and tradition of Manipur for a contemporary cultural expression. He also looked into the theatre and democracy in his own local context. In collaboration with his wife actress Sabitri he creates an unusual contemporary cathartic theatre.
Shri Kanhailal is a recipient of several awards like the state Award For Theatre, the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 1985, Natya Ratna in 1997 from the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellow 2011, Tanveer Award of Pune 2011, Kamal Kumari National Award 2011, Kalidash Saman 2012-13, META Life Time Achievement Award 2015 and the prestigious Padma Shri in 2003.
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