KOCHI: Students and staff of Bhavans Vidya Mandir, Elamakkara, were left mesmerised on Thursday as the traditional art form ‘Thirayattam’ also known as ‘Theyyam’ was staged at the school’s auditorium. The breathtaking performance was conducted as part of a cultural outreach programme and was jointly organised by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and the Infosys Foundation.Kozhikode Sreenivasan, whose ‘Traditional Theyyam Kala Samithi’ led the performance and whose ‘Gulikan Theyyam’ and ‘Kathivanoor Veeran’ luring the spectators, told ‘Express’ ‘Gulikan’ was an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
“Usually, the performance is done at night. But considering that it is being performed for school students, the timing was shifted to morning. Students should also get an opportunity to watch such ancient art forms,” Sreenivasan said.The students, staff and PTA members of the school were seen enjoying and admiring the two-hour performance. Harish Chowarath was the prime performer and was supported by other artists of the Kala Samithi. The artist started performing on the stage and eventually got down and continued the captivating performance in the open area.
“We liked the performance a lot. It was something new for us. Every moment was enjoyable,” the students said in unison after the performance.The serious, grim and at times frightening expressions by the artists also had its effect on spectators as a few students of the primary section were seen holding their hands and praying while some were seen closing their eyes during the performance.
Vice-principal Mini K said the cultural outreach programme aims at making students aware of traditional art forms existing in various parts of the state. “We joined hands with Infosys Foundation about a year ago to organise such events in different Bhavans Vidya Mandir schools. This time it was ‘Thirayattam’ for our school,” she said.
After the performance, the students and staff sought the blessings of the Theyyam artists and received ‘prasadam’ (religious offering). Director of Bhavans Vidya Bhavan E Ramankutty, Principal of the school Girija T S, PTA vice-president Sushma Deepak and artist Harish Chowarath also spoke at the inaugural function, which preceded the programme.