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KUSUM HAIDAR ---- A BRIEF PROFILE

Kusum Haidar did her BA from Miranda House, Delhi University, in 1960, and her MA in Liberal Arts from The New School for Social Research, New York City, in 1980.

She was a student of the Theatre Unit, School of Dramatic Arts, in Bombay, (July 1956 – March 1957) under the Director, E. Alkazi. She was awarded a French Government scholarship for specialized training in theatre arts and she trained in mime with the world-renowned teacher, Jacques Lecoq, at ‘Ecole du Mime’, Paris, from 1962 to 1963. She also trained as a teacher and director of drama at the British Drama League, London in 1963, and is a founder-member of Yatrik, the theatre company.

She is currently working with Television and Theatre Associates as an actress, and as a teacher of speech at Dramatic Art and Design Academy.

She has won the following awards:
  • Prize for Best Production for RIDERS TO THE SEA by Synge, Miranda House, Delhi University.

  • Award for Best Actress 1960/61 for role in DINNER WITH THE FAMILY from Delhi Natya Sangh Academy.

  • Award for Best Actress for role in VASNA KAND from Delhi Natya Sangh Academy.

  • The Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Acting in 2013 from the H'ble President of India. See the SNA Citation Here
kusum and zul vellani in a scene from eurydice
IN HER OWN WORDS

       My early days in the theatre are connected with the Bhulabhai Desai Institute on Warden Road in Bombay, where I was a student of Mr. Alkazi's Theatre Unit's School of Dramatic Art. In the early fifties, the Institute was a place where there was an explosion of creative activity, the flowering of the Arts, and as Salman Rushdie says, Bombay was a city going through "a kind of golden age, it was a wonderful, exciting city to grow up in, a kind of enchanted zone" and most people fell in love with it, "then and forever".
       It was hugely multi-cultural with a world view long before its time. That unique period was pervaded with a sense of freedom and exhileration because of all the stimulating ideas and knowledge that one could absorb with this fascinating intermingling of cultures. At the Bhulabhai Desai Institute, you had artists like Gaitonde, Husain and a host of others ---- sculptors, musicians and dancers. The Parsi community was replete with brilliant actors, all looking for new things to absorb from the outside world and exploring the wealth within the country. A dazzling coming-together of all the arts because each one of us was part of a whole movement that then moved to other places.
       What could be a more inspiring experience, and Bhulabhai Desai Institute was at the very heart of this flowering of the creative spirit.