Kerala (XVII)

VON Dr. Wolf SiegertZUM Freitag Letzte Bearbeitung: 18. November 2023 um 13 Uhr 58 Minutenzum Post-Scriptum


Bei der Ankunft in Kerala war die Zeit der grossen ’Theaterfestspiele’ vorbei. Das sind Open-Air-Veranstaltungen, die tausende und abertausende von Menschen hier aus der Region anziehen [1] - und vielleicht auch Touristen.

Für die eigene Vorbereitung hier die Wiedergabe von je einem Einfühungsvideo für die beiden wichtigsten Hochkulturen, die in dieser Tradition immer noch weitergelebt und weitergegeben werden:


UNESCO: Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity - 2008

Description: Kutiyattam, Sanskrit theatre, which is practised in the province of Kerala, is one of Indias oldest living theatrical traditions. Originating more than 2,000 years ago, Kutiyattam represents a synthesis of Sanskrit classicism and reflects the local traditions of Kerala. In its stylized and codified theatrical language, neta abhinaya (eye expression) and hasta abhinaya (the language of gestures) are prominent. They focus on the thoughts and feelings of the main character. Actors undergo ten to fifteen years of rigorous training to become fully-fledged performers with sophisticated breathing control and subtle muscle shifts of the face and body. The actors art lies in elaborating a situation or episode in all its detail. Therefore, a single act may take days to perform and a complete performance may last up to 40 days.
Kutiyattam is traditionally performed in theatres called Kuttampalams, which are located in Hindu temples. Access to performances was originally restricted owing to their sacred nature, but the plays have progressively opened up to larger audiences. Yet the actors role retains a sacred dimension, as attested by purification rituals and the placing of an oil lamp on stage during the performance symbolizing a divine presence. The male actors hand down to their trainees detailed performance manuals, which, until recent times, remained the exclusive and secret property of selected families.
With the collapse of patronage along with the feudal order in the nineteenth century, the families who held the secrets to the acting techniques experienced serious difficulties. After a revival in the early twentieth century, Kutiyattam is once again facing a lack of funding, leading to a severe crisis in the profession. In the face of this situation, the different bodies responsible for handing down the tradition have come together to join efforts in order to ensure the continuity of this Sanskrit theatre.


Kathakali, a Classical Artform of India | Very Detailed and Intricate Dance from Kerala

Kathakali is a traditional Indian Dance form of Kerala.The word Kathakali means "Story-Play".This traditional dance drama has been popular in the Malabar Region.

Kathakali is a highly codified artform. The facial makeup and costume of Kathakali are very heavy and stylized.

Es besteht die Absicht, diese Schule zu besuchen.

Mehr dazu in: Learn Kathakali - the Oldest Form of Art in Kerala at These Dance Classes.

​Margi Theatre is an organisation that is dedicated to the revival of Kathakali and Kutiyattom, two very famous classical forms of art. ‘Margi’ in Sanskrit means ’pursuit of aesthetic values which are universal and everlasting’. What makes the organisation different is it provides a Gurukula system of training for these classical forms of art. In this form of teaching, the students reside with the Guru or teacher. In addition to conducting classes, they also conduct performances outside the country. The short term training is more like familiarising students with the dance form. For international students, the training is provided under the ICCR scheme.

Year of establishment: 1970

Courses: Margi offers both short-term and long-term classes in Kathakali and Koodiyattam.
Gurus: Mankulam Vishnu Namboodiri, the late Padmashri Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, Padmashri Ammannur Madhava Chakiar
Renowned artists: Inchakattu Ramachandran Pillai, Kalamandalam Ratheesan, Margi Vijayakumar, Margi Murali, and Kalamandalam Balasubramaniam

Nach einer ersten Erkundung dieser Schule am Dienstag dieser Woche war eine eigene Teilnahme an einem zweistündigen Kursgeschehen an diesem Freitag geplant.

Das Erlebnis, als einziger Gast diesen zwei Stunden ’Spielzeit’ beiwohnen zu dürfen, war überwältigend.

Bei der Ankunft war der Raum noch leer:

So konnte der gesamte Probenablauf vom Aufbau der Instruments bis zum den Höhepunkten, in denen die Protaginisten über allem zu Schweben schienen:

woran sie selbst ein Stromausfall nicht hindern konnte:

zum Ende und das Wiedereintauchen in den Alltag erlebt werden:


Eyescape: Aesthetics of "Seeing" in "Kudiyattam"
Arya Madhavan
Asian Theatre Journal
Vol. 29, No. 2 (FALL 2012), pp. 550-570 (21 pages)
Published By: University of Hawai’i Press

Space, Time and Ways of Seeing The Performance Culture
of Kutiyattam By Mundoli Narayanan;
Routledge India; 300 pages; Rs 1,495
Publishing date: 24 August 2021
In: The Ritual and Belief Structure of Kudiyattam and Kuttampalam
India Art ReviewBy India Art ReviewMarch 9, 2022

by C. Kunchu Nair
In: The UNESCO Courier: a window open on the world, XX, 12, p. 36-42, illus. 1967

Kerala’s ritual dance-drama gets UNESCO recognition
In: The Economic Times Nov 21, 2010, 10:52 AM IST


[1Mehr dazu in der Hindustan Times von Zarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi, vom Aug 27, 2023:

Onam 2023: Know all about the classical dance forms of Kerala
This year, Onam festivities will begin on August 20 and Thiruvonam will fall on August 31 as the 10-day harvest festival will be observed across the South Indian state of Kerala. It marks the beginning of the Malayalam year, called Kolla Varsham and commemorated the return of the mythical King Mahabali with great enthusiasm and cultural fervor.

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