The Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, which launched the five-day festival, aims to preserve Kathaprasangam tradition.

A Kathaprasangam Mahotsavam is on at the SMV High School here, with workshops, seminars, lectures and performances intended to rekindle interest in this dying but exemplary art of storytelling.

Speaker G. Karthikeyan inaugurated the event on Sunday.

Preserving tradition

The Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, which launched the five-day festival, aims to preserve the Kathaprasangam tradition.

Ravi, liaison officer of the akademi, said the festival was being organised in five districts, and the akademi planned to make the multifaceted programme an annual affair.The festival has attracted many, keen on engaging eminent practitioners of the art.

On Monday afternoon, the school auditorium gradually filled up for a discussion with Kappil Ajayakumar.

Kathaprasangam performances by Balaramapuram Babu and a youngster, Adithya, followed. “This art form is being showcased at very few venues and should be promoted further,” Mr. Ajayakumar said, appreciating the akademi’s initiative.

He made a detailed presentation, reading out a script adapted from a novel of the Bengali writer Bimal Mitra.

Role of instruments

He spoke of body language, intonation, descriptive quality of the script and the role of musical instruments in packaging Kathaprasangam.

Paravur Ramachandran will make a presentation on Tuesday.

It will be the turn of Ayilam Unnikrishnan and Kiliyoor Sadan the following days.

Focussing on art

Young practitioners are being encouraged with evening slots for performances.

Mr. Ravi said the akademi planned festivals focussing on an art form every month.

Nrithyashilpa would be the focus in August and theatre in September, all intended to promote the cultural heritage of the State, offer a platform for veterans and encourage young participants.