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It is our pleasure to announce the Thalia Prize laureate Ms. Kapila Vatsyayan, Ph.D, India. This prize of honour will be handed over during the 2012 congress of the IATC in Warszaw in April.
Kapila Vatsyayan is one of India’s most important writers on the subject of Indian Theatre and Indian Dance. To theatre lovers in the Western world her writing has opened new windows to Indian performing arts, early in her work popularizing Indian performing arts and multi-culturalism. Born in 1928, she has lived a life dedicated to the arts generally and to theatre and dance in particular. Her influence as a scholar and critic of Asian theatre has been deep and exemplar and deserves wide recognition.
She has authored 15 books which have become classics in the field, such as Classical Indian Dance in Literature and the Arts (Sangeet Natak Akademi, 1968), Indian Classical Dance (SNA, 1972), Traditional Indian Theatre: Multiple Streams (NBT, 1972), Traditions of Indian Folk Dance (Clarion, 1975), The Square and the Circle of Indian Arts Roli, 1983, Bharata – The Natyashastra (Sahitya Akademi, 1996) and numerous volumes on Indian regional dance. Her writings through the 70s and 80s particularly put the entire area of Indian dance and theatre on the world map and she has been a leading figure in this area ever since. In the decades ot the 20th century when globalisation and multi-culturalism was highly influential on the stages of the western world her clear analysis and insightful understanding of the Indian tradition enlighted the way to true exchange avoiding ”cultural tourism”.
A long-time director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre of the Arts in New Delhi, she has worked closely with the Indian government in a variety of areas as a Government Secretary in cultural development. Since 2004, she has been a member of Unesco’s Executive Board and earlier taught at major universities around ther world including the Universities of Pennsylvania, California and Michigan as well as at Banaras Hindu University, Manipur University and Kolkata University in India. She has lectured in China, Japan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Russia, France and the UK. She has been awarded numerous honorary doctorates and has been awarded India’s highest honour, a Padamshri.