Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Koodiyattam - Sanskrit theatre of Kerala - by PS Gnanaprakash
(Tamil Heritage Trust)
"Koodiyattam - Sanskrit theatre of Kerala"
at 5.30pm on May, 5th, 2012
at Vinobha Hall, Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya, T Nagar.
Koodiyattam is one of the most ancient living theatrical traditions using Sanskrit plays for its production. Koodiyattam finds its expression in 'Koottambalam' (auditorium), an inseparable part of temples in Kerala. This art is practiced and propagated by the Chakkiar community. Hence it is also known by the name – Chakkiar Kootu. Both men and women participate in this tradition and they generally adopt the classics of Kalidasa, Bhasa, Sriharsha, Pallava Mahendra Varma, Kulasekhara, Saktibhadra etc. The stage adoption is elaborate and highly stylized. They follow the stage manuals which is known as Attaprakaram. Their costume is semi realistic and the stage mannerisms are highly stylized. Cymbals, idakka and a unique percussion instrument called 'milavu' are used in the orchestra.
Generally the Nangyars (women) sing while the Nambiyars (male) play the instruments. Nangyars also play the female roles. Language changes from Sanskrit to Prakrit and even to classical Malayalam.
The vachikam of Koodiyattam resembles the Vedic chanting tradition of Kerala. The songs are set to several ancient ragas. The antiquity of Koodiyattam goes to 10th century A.D. It is said that King Kulasekhara Varma structured this art and employed his own Sanskrit plays Tapatisamvaranam and Subhadradhananjayam for the repertory.
A. Annamalai: Gandhi Study Centre - firstname.lastname@example.org; 94441-83198
Badri Seshadri: Kizhakku-p-padippakam - email@example.com; 98840-66566
S. Kannan: Bank of Baroda - 2498 5836
S. Swaminathan - firstname.lastname@example.org; 2467 1501
R. Gopu, email@example.com, 98417-24641
T. Sivasubramanian, firstname.lastname@example.org, 98842-94494