10 years of Studio Kalari

Studio Kalari turns 10!

The first training as Studio Kalari, 08.05.2010, phot. Magdalena Mądra

On May 7, 2010, at the Grotowski Institute in Wrocław we inaugurated regular activities as Studio Kalari with a lecture on kalarippayattu, and the next day the first official training took place.  There was also an outdoor exhibition about kalarippayattu in the Wroclaw Market Square. Since then, we have been operating almost non-stop, apart from holidays, because kalari is not just our job, but above all a great passion.
We described how the Studio was created in this article which in turn was an innauguration of our blog just a few weeks ago.

Balance of a 10-year-old

10 years of our activities include among others:

around 2,500 regular training sessions
57 online trainings (from 12/03/2020)
53 workshops
9 Summer Schools
8 Winter Practices in India
3 children
2 locations
2 exhibitions
2 founders and leaders
2 grandmas
1 passion
1 kalari

Local and global

BodyConstitution project, 2015, phot. Magdalena Mądra
Our kalari in Trivandrum, phot. Sebastian Góra

Moreover, we conducted workshops as part of international educational and artistic projects, training series for university students, we conducted lectures and presentations, we cooperated, among others with artists, performers, musicians, masters of other martial arts, teachers, as well as also carried out presentations at various festivals and events for children and adults. In the years 2010-2018, we operated with the support of the Grotowski Institute, and then started cooperation with the Active Culture Association. Although working on daily basis in Wrocław, Poland, in 2013 we also built our own kalari building in Trivandrum where we practise every winter.

Workshop at Site des pratiques theatrales Lavauzelle, 2013, phot. Magdalena Mądra

We carried out our activities in countries such as Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Norway, Finland, Brazil and India. They were attended by people from all over the world, and organized by wonderful organizations, institutions and individuals who supported our activities and thus contributed to the promotion of kalarippayattu in the world. Cooperation with some, e.g. Teatro dei Venti, has been going on for years and is still developing.

Summers and winters with kalari

6th Summer School in Brzezinka, July 2016, phot. Maciej Zakrzewski
9th Summer School in Strużyny, July 2019.

Our favourite activities are Summer Schools and Winter Practices. For several years the Schools took place at the forest base of the Grotowski Institute in Brzezinka, and then they moved to the countryside seat of the Active Cultyre Association in Strużyny.
During Schools, we combine intensive kalari training with relaxation in the nature and cooking together (often under the guidance of Sankar!). We will see if School 2020 will take place …
Week-long Schools are a taster of practice in India where every winter we spend several  weeks and squeeze out sweat during classes.

We spend our free time mainly peeling vegetables (Sankar’s mother rules the kitchen), hand washing on stone and sleeping (as well as home-schooling with kids).

Thank you all, but grandmothers rule!

Students in Wroclaw.

It is impossible to list here all the organizations, people and friends who participated in our development and accompanied us in various ways on our path, which is why we do not want to mention them here separately, but we are grateful to each and everyone, and we keep memories of our common experiences.
Thank you for your help, support, sympathy and energy!

Grandma Emma with Maja during the inauguration lecture of Studio Kalari, 07.05.2010, phot. Magdalena Mądra

In particular, however, we want to thank all the students who have gone through our classes over the years – without you there would simply not be us – and the two grandmas: grandma Emma and grandma Komalavally, who on two continents have helped us to manage our children growing along with the Studio (they are 10, 7 and 6 years old), and enabled us to work not only at strategic moments, but also every day! 

Grandma Komalavally with Maja, Leon and Mira during a kalari training in Trivandrum, February 2020.


Unexpected change of places

9th birthday of Studio Kalari, May 2019, phot. Magdalena Mądra

As part of celebrations of our 10th birthday, we planned both special events and a special edition of the Summer School, but of course everything was changed by the coronavirus. Unexpectedly, we started to conduct online classes and also write a blog in which we present various aspects of kalari practice.

Kalari online – fun for everyone.

Although initially online trainings seemed like an abstract idea, this new format of classes turned out to be a great chance to participate for, among others, those various people scattered around the world who once met kalari through our trainings or workshops, but for various reasons could not continue the practice. Now they are happy to come back to stay in contact with this wonderful art, and also new participants join them. In this way we can celebrate together.