Kutiyattam

Definition

Theater

  • A traditional form of Indian theater from the state of Kerala.It is documented as an established form from around 950 ADand probably derives from the ancient Sanskrit theater.

    The procedures to be observed during a performance are recordedin ancient manuals of instruction, which the actors follow closely.The performers, who traditionally come from the Cakyar caste, wearmake-up and decorative costumes; a sophisticated code of exaggeratedexpressions and gestures is used.

    Few Kutiyattam performances are held today. The VatukumnathanTemple presents at least one a year, while others are sometimes presentedin Kerala and elsewhere in India. A performance is always precededby ritual worship, and continues throughout the night. In some casesa festival of performances can extend over several days.

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