Another notable trait of ‘Chavittu Nadakam’ performances is the use of over-the-top, glittery outfits that are very medieval European-like.

There is a strict regime that a group from Carmel Girls Higher Secondary School, Vazhuthacaud, starts following weeks ahead of its ‘Chavittu Nadakam’ performances. This Latin Christian artform is characterised by exaggerated gestures, dialogues and, as the name suggests, heavy stamping about on stage. Considering that every performance is 20 minutes long, it is a strenuous activity that demands stamina. But this group of 18-year-olds was practically sprinting around the venue and hollering when it was announced the winner of the event at the revenue district school arts fete.

The students’ secret, one of the protagonists of the play Devi Santhosh said, was to see how long they could practice without pausing for a break or taking a sip of water. “The longer we can, the better our stamina and more effective our performance,” she said.

Another notable trait of ‘Chavittu Nadakam’ performances is the use of over-the-top, glittery outfits that are very medieval European-like. Devi, for instance, wore a thick blonde wig and a silver costume like that of an English knight and boots.

Janhavi, her classmate, was confident that the team would fare well in Palakkad where the State-level arts fete will be held from January 19, even though they will be competing against teams from Kochi – the home of this artform.

‘Chavittu Nadakam’ was incorporated into the fete last year in response to the inclusion of events that were more Islamic in nature such as the Duffmuttu, one of the organisers said.

Janhavi is confident that their successors will bag next year’s award to make it a hat-trick for the school.

The physical exertions, however, completely drained two students from the Carmel School’s High School section.