The Kalakar Trust wishes to foster international exchange between foreign and Indian artists. We believe such interactions lead to the enrichment of intercultural understanding of the artists and their audiences. Exchange programs also lead to improvements in the skills of the artists involved. The trust believes that it is very important to develop greater understanding between people at all levels. The arts can be a good vehicle towards this end. Joint performances are being organised to help artists from different countries develop their skills through mutual inspiration.

The Kalakar Trust can mediate and act as a co-ordinator to assist groups of foreign artists who are interested in organising exchange sessions with Indian folk artists. The end goal of these exchange sessions will be a joint performance by the two groups.

The exchange programs would generally be limited to between two and three weeks of practice and performance planning sessions. Longer programs are difficult to organise due to the expense involved and possible unavailability of the artists.Cost, logistic and other details need to be discussed with interested groups on a case by case basis. The cost of the program will depend on the number of artists and the duration of their stay; the location where they wish to stay; demands on quality of location for practice sessions etc. The Kalakar Trust will assist in co-ordinating all the local aspects of the exchange free of charge. The co-ordination includes identifying the local artists and supervising them; organising places to stay and practice; and assisting with the logistics of preparing the joint public performance.


  • The Trust and the Conservatoire de Cannes, France have organised an exchange successfully in September 1999. Thirteen students from the Conservatoire de Cannes spentthree weeks with the folkartists in New Delhi working together and learning from each other.
  • An joint program was performed by the French Puppet Theatre Company "Compagnie de l'Echelle and the Puran Bhatt Kathputli Puppeteer's Group on April 10-12, 2001. Support was provided by the Embassy of France, Max Mueller Bhavan, Alliance Francaise, the Kalakar Trust and Mr. Francis Wascziarg.
  • In 2002, a three-week cultural youth exchange of artists from India and the island nation of Madagascar was sponsored by the Kalakar Trust and the Malagasy Cultural Arts Centre, Antshow. The purpose was to increase skills, widen horizons, improve intercultural understanding, and provide leadership in innovative performances. A joint show was presented in the Delhi Habitat Centre that was well covered by the Indian and Malagasy media.
  • In 2004, The Kalakar Trust, together with Mundial Productions, presented a show called ‘Music & Tap Dance’. Mundial Productions sponsored world-renowned tap dancer, Peter Kuit, to hold a workshop with young traditional street artists of the “Kalakar Ekta Youth Club” and “Junior Youth Club” in New Delhi. Peter Kuit is the most active and respected tap dancer in the Netherlands.
  • The workshop consisted of combining Tap Dancing with the Traditional Drumming of the Kalakar community. This exchange was a truly exciting and moving experience and culminated in a show for the public at Kamani Auditorium.

Workshops with artists in the following fields can be organised :

  • Rajasthani folk dance
  • Fire blowing dance (using real fire)
  • Folk music and singing (Drumming, harmonium)
  • Rajhasthani folk puppeteering
  • Indian juggling and related feats.
  • Impersonation of traditional and folk characters (monkey God etc.)
  • Acrobatics in either Rajhasthani or Maharashtran style.
  • Rajhasthani folk painting.
  • Wood carving using Indian images
  • Henna body painting (not permanent)
  • Traditional wall decorating using mud, shells, mirrors etc.
  • Dollu Kunitha The Dollu Kunitha is a popular drum dance of Karnataka. The men have large drums, decorated with coloured cloth, slug from their necks, and they beat the drums as they dance with nimble movements of the feet and legs. The dance is at times accompanied by songs, which are either religious or in praise of war.
  • Siddhi Doma The siddhies were brought to India from Africa about 750 years ago as slaves. The settled in the coastal parts of Gujarat like Bharuch, Bhavnagar, Junagarh and Surat. They follow Muslim religion and dance to the beat of drum on the eve of the Urs of their prophet Baba Gaur. The dancers gradually pick up tempo nd get into trance breaking tossed cocnut on their heads. Just like their ancestors from Africa, Sidhies are master of rhythm dancing to the tune of huge.

Workshops in other types of folk arts can also be organised depending on the availability and quality of the artists in the Delhi area. Artists from various parts of India live in Delhi.The duration of the workshops can be determined by the visiting foreign artist and may range from several days to one month.

Each foreign artist who desires to participate in such a workshop can express his/her specific interests and time availability. In this way the Kalakar Trust will tailor the workshops to the individual needs of the visiting artists.

COST:Rates for payment of artists payable directly to the artists on a daily basis:

One Artist: 500 Rupees per day(2 Hours)

NOTE:Rates have been adjusted to ensure that the Indian artists are sufficiently motivated to work seriously with the visiting artist.Rates may increase on a yearly basis depending on the cost of living increases in the New Delhi area.Boarding and lodging is available on request.

Shree Smartha Vyayam Mandir(sister organisation )

An NGO, the"Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir & Mallakhamb" Institute has been created by volunteers who promote and teach the necessary skills for both types of Mallakhamb.

Mallakhamb Workshop:The Mallakhamb is a scientific and most ideal mode of exercise. It gives perfect shape, form and strength to each and every muscle and a remarkable control over all the limbs of the body, from the tips of the fingers to the tips of the toes.

The "Pole Mallakhamb" style consists of acrobatics on a straight, strong well-polished pole that tapers towards the top. The "Rope Mallakhamb" is the most spectacular variety of Mallakhamb and is done by both men and women in which different Yogic postures and acrobatic feats are performed on a suspended cotton rope.

Interested Indian and foreign students can take lessons in: Mallakhamb, Yoga, Indian Wrestling, and other traditional skills such as the Indian sports of Lathi and Dand-Baithak.


Shree Smartha Vyayam Mandir
Kale Guruji Marg, Gokhale Road (North), Dadar,
Mumbai - 400 028 (India). Tel: 091-022-4229129/4457870
E mail :

Individuals wishing to make a general visit to the community where many traditional artists are welcome. Please be prepared for the fact that the dwelling conditions of the artists are very poor although improvements have taken place over the course of the past few years.

An English speaking person,(from the community itself) who will act as a guide, will accompany people, who will organise their visit to the community through the Kalakar Trust.

(The guide is to compensated directly for his time.Minimum Rs 500/2 Hours.)

An option also exists for serious visitors to spend a day (10 AM TO 5 PM) with an artist family in the community as well as accompany them to any performances they may have during that particular day.

(Each family would need to be compensated directly with minimum 2000 Rupees.)

-Visitors are requested to bring their own food preferably for health reasons. Visitors will also need to pay for their own transport to and from any places to which the artists may go during the course of the day.

VIA e.v. (Verein fur internationalen und interkulturellen Austausch )from Germany—primarily works in the field of international exchange, training for international contacts and co-operation with NGOs in developing countries. VIA e.v. sends volunteers on full time basis to work in our organisation. They teach English to senior students in an alternative way. Students spend time with the volunteers and learn to speak English through games and visiting places.