Gaurav Saini is a theatre trainer, actor, director, and film maker.
He is currently a Resident Artist at NIRMAN, a non-profit organisation based in Varanasi. At NIRMAN, he teaches undergraduate students from the USA, directs theatre productions with children and young actors, and trains teachers in Theatre-in-Education. He conducts a range of workshops in theatre, teaching, and theatre therapy for individuals as well as communities and institutions.
In 2019, Gaurav was a Fulbright scholar-in-residence at Ohio Northern University where he taught Indian aesthetics and performance and directed the theatre department’s International Play Festival. He has been a Mellon fellow at the Claremont Colleges in 2016, as part of an initiative to enrich undergraduate academic courses, where he trained students and directed a performance.
He started his journey in theatre with Barry John, first doing a Diploma in Acting and later working as an Assistant Teacher with him for two years at the Imago Acting School. He conducted Martial Arts classes at the school, which were an integral part of the acting training offered.
He has explored many forms and approaches to theatre, including highly physical and rigorous forms of training in traditional Indian dance and martial arts forms and Western theatre. He has worked with theatre practitioners from different parts of the country and outside India. He continues his own training, especially in Corporeal Mime, Suzuki, and Clowning.
He is a Black-Belt and certified instructor in Thang-Ta, an ancient martial art of Manipur in India. He is also trained in Kalarippayattu, Tai-Chi, and Judo. Presently he is learning Aikido, Nishio Budo, under Yufukan Japan.