Celebrating theatre, music and dance


 A scene from one of Evam’s plays. File photo

Sunil Vishnu, the CEO of Evam, a house of theatre and story telling in Chennai, pipped seven other contestants to be adjudged India finalist for the Young Performing Arts Entrepreneur ’09.  He will compete with winners from 8-10 other countries for the  International Young Performing Arts Entrepreneur award in the UK.

 Started in 1999, Vishnu’s organisation uses various theatre techniques to help people evolve as individuals.“What I value most from this experience is that I got to meet other entrepreneurs in this field. I think there is a great need for us to work together,” he said after receiving the award from  Adam Pushkin, Head of Arts and Creative Industries, British Council India and Sri Lanka.

Sunil Vishnu’s competitors included  Pawan Kumar BP who runs the ACTor Productions in Bangalore; Sachin Kamani who handles projects for The Company Theatre that started in 1993 in Mumbai; Jehan-Sam D Manekshaw, founder-director of Theatre Professionals Pvt Ltd in Mumbai; Anand Majumdar who runs a Latin dance Institute called Quickstep SALSA in Mumbai; Vikram Iyengar of Ranan Performance Collective, a dance theatre company in Kolkata; Paramita Saha, co-director Sapphire Creations, an experimental dance company, also based in Kolkata; and  Santosh Kumar who runs Beatscampus.com from Gurgaon promoting online music and musicians. Besides being a musician, he also helps young artists raise funds. They were judged by theatre and film director Suman Mukhopadhyay, Manipuri dancer Priti Patel, Professor Anjan Raichaudhuri from IIM and Adam Pushkin.

The eight entrepreneurs competed for the award, which besides the trophy, would allow them to compete with other international finalists later this month in Edinburgh, and get £5000 to develop business links with the UK.  

The award is part of the Young Creative Entrepreneur (YCE) Award programme promoted across the British Council’s international networks, that forms the core of the Creative Future Network. It rewards the talent and initiative of young creative entrepreneurs from across the creative industries recognising the central role they play in the development of a competitive and sustainable creative economy.

The Young Performing Arts Entrepreneurs (YPAE) are essentially producers of theatre, dance, music or live art performances, promoters, festival directors and marketing specialists in this area, managers of theatre, dance, music or live art companies, developers of  performing arts publishing, communications, or websites  and consultants providing specialist services in any of the areas outlined.

As part of the International Creative Entrepreneur (IYCE) Award scheme, 8-10 countries are selected to participate each year.

Each participating country selects one national finalist to represent them in the international competition through a national call for entry and by a jury of leading figures in their national industry.

Similarly, YCE awards are held in the UK to identify the best British entrepreneurs in music, publishing, design, fashion and screen. A shortlisted group for each award will tour India for two weeks for an introduction to the Indian sector and opportunities for creative and commercial collaboration.   

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