Darpana Academy of Performing Arts is situated at Usmanpura, in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. This was established in 1949. The Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, Ahmedabad started off as a very small institution but today it is one of the biggest institutions and also has a name in Ahmedabad. It is a center of excellence and a workshop committed to the contemporary symbiosis of arts and life, beyond the horizon of language and thought. The academy teaches classical, folk and contemporary dance, drama, music and puppetry. Research and performance of folk and tribal culture are also conducted in this place. This institution was formed by renowned dancer and theoretician Mrinalini Sarabhai and her scientist husband Vikram Sarabhai. This is a meeting point of Gujarati performing artists and intellectuals. Darpana had an academic experimental bent under the Sarabhais and now their daughter Mallika, a sensitive actress, dancer, and director. The Drama Section, under acting duo Kailash Pandya and Damini Mehta, is responsible for more than 100 productions of a wide variety. The range includes Tagore`s Chandalika, Madia`s Ramlo Robinhood, C. C. Mehta`s Sita, Kanetkar`s Premrang i.e `Colour of Love`, Dahyabhai Jhaveri`s Vinaveli. Darpana attracted young writers and staged their first scripts, making them an integral part of production efforts. Some of the names can be mentioned as Madhu Rye, Labhshankar Thaker, Shrikant Shah, Subhash Shah, Chinu Modi, and Hasmukh Baradi. It also conducted theatre-training courses for over two decades. Its research wing, Janvak, published monographs like Goverdhan Panchal`s on Bhavai. Darpana has also built an experimental thrust auditorium, Natrani, reminiscent of Greek amphitheatres, on the banks of the river Sabarmati.
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