As part of the initiatives to bring to light the contributions of Kulasekhara, the playwright of Chera dynasty and the ruler of Mahodayapuram (Kodungallur) during the 9th century, towards the theatre forms of Kerala, the International Centre for Koodiyattom, in association with Union Department of Culture, is organising a five-day long ‘Kulasekhara Theatre Festival 2014’ here from March 1.
The fest will feature as many as 20 performances of various classical forms of theatre such as Koodiyattom, Koothu, Nangiar Koothu, Padakam, Poorakkali, Marathukali, Ankiya Nat (classical one-act play of Assam) and Pandavani (from Chhattisgarh).
More than 10 seminars on topics ranging from the history of ‘Natya Shastra’ and participation of women in Koodiyattom will be held as part of the festival. Moreover, around 30 paper related to the regional manifestations will also be presented.
According to K G Paulose, the chief organiser of the programme and thevice-chancellor of Kalamandalam Deemed University, Kulasekhara had launched Koodiyattom with his ‘Vyangyavyaakhya’.
“The doctrine of ‘Dhvani’ was expounded by Anandavardhana, an author in ninth century in Kashmir. The technique demands both imagination and multiple impersonations on the part of the actor. Kulasekhara had applied it to theatre. This performance text is known as ‘Vyangyavyakhya’. This innovation in performative practice has led to the foundation of classical art forms in Kerala like Kooditattom, Krishnanattam, Kathakali and Mohiniyattam,” said Paulose, who edited and published ‘Vyangyavyakhya’, which had remained in manuscripts until last year.
He added that Kulasekhara’s contributions had been accorded least significance inside and outside Kerala. “
The theatre forms in Kerala could only be explained on the basis of ‘Vyangyavyakhya’. Even Bharata’s Natya Sastra appears contradictory to the grammar of art forms of Kerala. Hence, for creating forums to discuss the contribution of Kerala to Indian classical theatre, we have been organising the programme since 2013 in Tripunithura. The initiative will also be continued in the coming years,” he added.
Excise Minister K Babu will inaugurate the fest at Layam Ground.
P Rajeev MP will felicitate Koodiyattom maestro Kalamandalam Rama Chakyar. Kalamandalam Vice-Chancellor N P Suresh will give away the Kulasekhara Award to noted percussionist and Mizhavu exponent P K Narayanan Nambiar.
The festival will conclude on March 5.
Ankiya Nat Artists from Assam will be felicitated by Tripunithura municipal chairman R Venugopal.