Soorya reaches out to budding artistes

He establishes a black box theatre which they can use free of cost

The struggles he faced during the early days of his career in getting a foothold in theatre, made him make up his mind to provide a platform for budding artistes to showcase their talent. He established a black box theatre in Thiruvananthapuram for this purpose.

Meet Nataraja Krishnamoorthy, popularly known as Soorya Krishnamoorthy, who was in the city to participate in the golden jubilee celebrations of Kerala Kala Samithi.

A writer, director and art promoter, Mr. Krishnamoorthy has published five books, three screenplays and 15 dramas besides conceiving, designing and directing105 stage shows, in his career, spanning over four decades. In 1977, he founded Soorya Movement, which claims to be the largest cultural organisation in the world, with chapters in 38 countries apart from 60 centres in India.

“These days an artiste has to spend ₹4 lakh to ₹5 lakh for an ‘arangetram’ and this is killing talent. I do not charge any rent, and in addition I provide light, sound and other amenities free of cost to upcoming artistes,” says Mr. Krishnamoorthy in a chat with The Hindu.

Interestingly, Mr. Krishnamoorthy has no family background in art or theatre with many of his close relations and family members being engineers. He had joined ISRO as a scientist/engineer in 1972 and worked under scientists like APJ Abdul Kalam, who later became the President, for 27 years before opting for VRS to devote his full time to the promotion of art and theatre.

“The greatest advantage for me at ISRO was that my superiors were all fond of theatre and arts. Kalam himself was a great veena player. This allowed me to pursue my passion even when I was working at ISRO,” he recalls.

He had won several national and international awards including ‘Kala Ratna’ of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi and ‘Kalaimamani’ from the Government of Tamil Nadu in 2006 for Stage and Craft Direction.

COVID-19 crisis

“I had set up a foot-operated sanitiser dispenser unit to keep the 100 members of our theatre troupe engaged as there is no work for the last one year. Despite my efforts, it pains me to say one member of our troupe had committed suicide,” says Mr. Krishnamoorthy.

“I later found out that he was unable to support his aged parents, which made him take the extreme step. He never told me of his problem and now, he had left his parents at the mercy of others. The pandemic hastaught us a lesson that one should not wait till someone asks for help,” he signs off.

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