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Esplanade as part of kalaa Utsavam presents Koodiyattom & Nangiar Kuthu the traditional art forms of Kerala by Soorya (India).

Timings for the the Nangiar koothu & Kuttiyatam performances

7 Nov (Fri), 7:30 - 8:30 pm - Nangiarkooth, Seetha svayamvaram

7 Nov (Fri), 9:00 - 10:00 pm - Kutiyattam, Thoranayudham

8 Nov (Sat), 7:30 - 8:30 pm - Nangiarkooth, Poothana moksham

8 Nov (Sat), 9:00 - 11:00 pm - Kutiyattam, Jatayuvadham

9 Nov (Sun), 7:30 - 8:30 pm - Kutiyattam, Thoranayudham

9 Nov (Sun), 9:00 - 10:00 pm - Kutiyattam, Kailasodharanam

Details Stories Click here

To be held for 3 consecutive evenings 7th, 8th & 9th of November 2008

             Time: 7.30 PM                     Venue: Outdoor Theatre at Esplanade

Admission Free !

Koodiyattom & Nangiar Kuthu

Artistes: Sathi devi Subramoniyan from Margi, Revathy Subramonium Potti , Kunju Nair Kanakan , Sankaranarayanan Koodukatil , Krishnarajan Raja Recouvi , Vineesh Kunju , Sajith Vijayan , Reghunath Sangeeth

Doyen Of Kuttiyattam - MARGI SATHI click here

Koodiyattam has been recognized by the UNESCO as one of the masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. It's a sanskrit theatre art. Make use of this unique opportunity to see the rich heritage of India. Please bring your children for the event. Expose them to the rich, traditional & authentic culture of India.


Koodiyattom, Nangiar Kuthu & Chakiar Kuthu

Koodiyattam is recognized by the UNESCO as one of the masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity. The Koodiyattam tradition of enacting classical Sanskrit dramas . It is a comprehensive theatre form that has existed since before the tenth century AD and is India's oldest theatre to have been continuously performed. Koodiyattam has the same delight in nuance and hidden shades of meaning in metaphors and delicate implications which is the hallmark of Sanskrit literature.

It is for the first time that UNESCO has selected art forms from across the world to bestow recognition as part of its effort to safeguard expressions of oral heritage and traditional culture.

Koodiyattam was selected from among 32 entries from all over the world. Dating back to 2,000 years, `Koodiyattam' is a unique theatre tradition which survived in Kerala from an ancient past. It deals with the plays of eminent Sanskrit dramatists such as Bhasa, Harsha, Kalidasa, Maendravikrama and Saktibhadra. While following the performative principles of the larger Indian aesthetic tradition, `Koodiyattam' has its own distinctive characteristics that are firmly rooted in the culture of Kerala.

Koodiyattam is Kathakali's 2000 year old predecessor and is offered as a votive offering to the deity. Koodiyattam literally means "acting together". This is the earliest classical dramatic art form of Kerala. Based on Sage Bharatha's 'Natyasasthra' who lived in the second century, Koodiyattam evolved in the 9th century AD.

Koodiyattam is enacted inside the temple theatre, there are two or more characters onstage at the same time, with the Chakkiars providing the male cast and the Nangiars playing the female roles. The Nangiars beat the cymbals and recite verses in Sanskrit, while in the background Nambiars play the Mizhavu, a large copper drum. Other accompaniments include Edakka (a small drum played with a stick), Kurumkuzhal (a small wind instrument similar to a Shehnai) and Kuzhithalam (a small pair of cymbals).

Vidushaka or the wise man, a figure parallel to the Fool in Shakespearean plays, enacts his role with the liberty to criticise anyone without fear. The costume of the jester sets him apart from the rest. The Koodiyattam performance lasts for several days ranging from 6 to 20 days. Themes are based on mythology. The plays of Bhasa, Kulasekhara varman, Sri Harsha, Bodhoyana, Neelakanta, Kalidasa, etc, are staged. Detailed information regarding the way of acting is available in the treatises called Attaprakaram and Kramadeepika, written by the Sanskrit poet Tolan. The actors in Koodiyattam also have the license to speak anything. They have the freedom to ridicule anybody, whether he is a ruler or a pauper. The costumes differ according the characters of the play.

Apart from the significant presence of female actresses onstage, this art form was also instrumental in keeping alive the prakrit language and Malayalam in its ancient form. The four-fold concept of acting enunciated in the natya-sastra - angika, vacika, aharya and satvic - find its full statement in koodiyattam. It is known for its highly stylized acting and is considered to be the mother of most of the classical art forms of Kerala. The Koodal Manickyam temple at Irinjalakkuda and the Vadakkumnatha temple at Thrissur are the main centres where Koodiyattam is still performed annually in Kerala. Ammannoor Madhava Chakkiar is an unrivalled maestro of this rare art.

He passed away recently on the 1st of july 2008.

Nangiar Kuthu is the female solo dance of Koodiyattom genre. The dancer (Nangiar) does not sing but has to communicate by hand signs, body language and steps prescribed by tradition. A vocalist recites the Sanskrit slokas (verses) at intervals, which are acted out by the dancer, accompanied by the percussion instruments, mizhavu, edakka and thimila, as in Koodiyattom.

Nangiar Kuthu & Mizhavu

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