International Centre for Koodiyattam, Tripunithura

TARGET: To promote Koodiyattam and related art forms by routinely organising performances, seminars and other such activities for the discerning lovers of the oldest living theatrical art form.

ORIGIN: The Tripunithura-based International Centre for Koodiyattam was formed in the year 1995 with an objective of nurturing the traditional art forms of Kerala with a special focus on Koodiyattam. It was the outcome of a group of committed art lovers who came together at Tripunithura to attend a national workshop on theatre in November 1994 that led to the formation of the Centre.

ACTIVITIES:The International Centre for Koodiyattam has always remained focused on its area of interest and has been functioning devotedly. Their untiring efforts were hugely responsible in prompting Unesco endorse the Centre as one of the nodal agencies for the promotion of the art form. In fact, this ancient art form has been recognised by Unesco as a “masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity”.

“To appreciate this art form one has to have some formal initiation, and it was with this point of view that we designed a foundation course meant for students and teachers. Needless to say, the attempt was hugely successful,” recalls K.P.Achyuthan, founder secretary of the Centre. The septuagenarian is currently the Managing Trustee of the Centre and has played an instrumental role in the evolution of the Centre.

The Centre had also organised a three-day camp for media personnel with a view to impart the intricacies of appreciating Koodiyattam and thereby enabling them report with more clarity. Intermittently, artists’ camps are also being organised to provide an opportunity for the exponents and new talents to interact with each other. Yet another milestone in the growth of the Centre is that they could publish several books in English and Malayalam with remarkable authenticity, all of which have been well-received by its target readers. From its inception, the Centre has also taken special care in promoting young talents in Koodiyattam, Koothu and Nangiyarkoothu. The Centre’s upcoming programme is a five-day long Kulasekhara Theatre Festival.

Despite financial constraints, the Centre has been putting up programmes such as performances, lecture demonstrations, seminars and workshops at frequent intervals. They have also roped in the support of local, national and international bodies to make things happen. Still, dearth of funds has always remained an impediment factor.

IMPACT:The biggest impact that International Centre for Koodiyattam could bring about, ever since it came into being, was that it could sustain and popularise the art form and related performing art forms in more ways than one. The Centre, through several of its initiatives, could also introduce the ancient art form to the new generation in a more meaningful manner.

GETTING IN TOUCH:To know more about International Centre for Koodiyattam and their varied activities call 0484-2776340 or 9447077634