Arusam Madhusudan, affectionately known as ‘Mime Madhu’, hails from the historic town of Warangal in Andhra Pradesh, India. Born on 6 October 1977, he developed a burning desire to become a Mime Artiste at the young age of 12 when he saw an amateur mime performance at school. Madhu started his journey in Mime under Guru Sri P. Nagabhushanam in Warangal. He continued training in his native city, before contacting mime teachers all over India and abroad to broaden his mime language and his creative horizons.

Student Years He studied M.P.A (Master of Performing Arts) at the Sarojini Naidu School of Performing Arts, Central University, Hyderabad. Madhu then had the opportunity to receive advanced mime training from internationally renowned mime Artistee Padmashri Niranjan Goswami, the founder director of Indian Mime Theatre, Kolkata. Madhusudan was so greatly influenced by Sri Goswamiji that despite being a science graduate and having learnt computer applications, he decided to take up mime as a profession, and began to pursue a full-fledged career in mime.

Overseas Experience In 2001, Madhu went to Portland, Maine, USA to take part in a four-week Mime workshop by the famous American luminary Tony Montanaro at the Tony Montanaro Mime Theatre. He also underwent rigorous training in Body and Movement at a 45-day workshop in Japan under the supervision of famous Butoh dancer and renowned Body & Movement trainer, Min Tanaka.

Drawing from other Art forms While learning international themes and movements to strengthen his mime repertoire, Madhu has also learned traditional ‘Kalar’ fight sequences from Sudhakaran Gurukulam, Kerala, as well as Martial Art Tai-Chi from Ravi Varma. He also studied various folk forms of Andhra Pradesh to further his understanding of mime in the context of folklore. He has eloquently and elegantly adapted all these art forms in his performances.

Madhu’s Rigorous Scehdule Since each muscle and curve of a mime’s body is intended to convey a message, most artistes of this craft are muscled to perfection. All mime Artistes use different practices to sculpt their body. Madhu’s daily schedule with three hours of gymnastics from five to eight in the morning and two hours of training that follow, testify to the fact that his body control comes at a high cost. With the help of a grueling workout, Madhu inculcates strength, stamina and grace to portray his message on stage. During his training with Tony Montanaro, Madhu learnt about applying techniques of Indian Yoga both off and on stage. At the Creative Body Practice work shop in Japan, Madhu underwent intensive training where he learnt how to increase his stamina and created his own brand of body energy.

Professional Experience Madhu has been on stage as a professional actor since 1992. Madhu conceptualized, designed and directed many new Mime features and has travelled extensively throughout India, performing with famous personalities. He has been a regular performer at the National Mime Festival showcasing his talents in places including Kolkata, Pune, Delhi, Mumbai and Assam. Overseas, he has presented numerous shows in Dubai, USA and Japan.

He is the youngest recipient of the Best Actor Award from Nandi Theatre Festival, conducted by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, for playing the lead role in the stage play called ‘Devudu Chesina Bomma’. At the age of 26, he was one of the youngest actors to receive the prestigious Nandi Award since that award’s inception. He then went on to win numerous awards for his acting by various institutes and organizations.

Teaching Mime in India and Overseas In 2009, Madhu travelled to Arkansas, USA, and conducted mime classes at the theater department of the Bethswill Community College and Arkansas State University. He also conducted mime classes for school children, touring all the schools in the state of Arkansas. Back in India, Madhu has worked with rural and urban children, street children and children with disabilities to teach them a unique form of self expression.

It is no wonder that his talent has received recognition from the Department of Culture under the Ministry of HRD, Government of India, who awarded him a National Scholarship and a Junior Fellowship in Mime. He is the first and only person in Andhra Pradesh to have received such an honor in the field of Mime. His creative talent has been widely appreciated by media and in the world of performing arts. He has presented a number of Mime workshops in different parts of A.P. and in other parts of India. He even conducted a workshop in collaboration with National School of Drama, New Delhi.

As a performer… Madhu continues to be a student of this ancient classical Art and is always in search of innovation. As a performer, he tirelessly and passionately strives to create wonders through mime. He designs his productions on the basis of his observation of real incidents and the experiences that he gathers from interactions in daily life. He presents his performances in both realistic and stylized forms, keeping in mind the principles of Bharatamuni, the author of Natyasastra.

Establishing the Indian Mime Academy In 2002 Madhu established his Indian Mime Academy, through which he promotes mime by teaching at a number of institutes of acting, and by conducting workshops on personality development. Madhu feels like Indian mime suffers in excluding electronic media in its act. Digital lighting effects for shadow play, electronic sound systems and digital backdrops can elevate mime in India to the international level, and Madhu intends to fill in the gaps through his Academy.

Goals Madhu’s immediate goal is to work with street children to develop a routine that combines pure mime with Pata Chitra—an Andhra Folk art where Artistes used wood powder and glue to create masks. Since children living in slums and having rural backgrounds have great energy levels, Madhu intends to harvest their energy into something creative, which could ultimately bring them a livelihood.

Whether it is training dancers and children to reach higher levels of expression through mime, or by holding workshops for corporate professionals to whom mime could teach body movement and communication, Madhu continues to use his creative energies in every way. Madhu has conceived and acted in numerous corporate films and advertisements, worked with the government and various non-profit organizations to create social awareness and has presented enchanting shows on stage.