Koodiyattom is an art form that has made significant contributions to the ancient Indian text, Natyashastra, according to the former Vice-Chancellor of Kalamandalam and Koodiyattom exponent K.G. Poulose. His exhaustive research in the field of Koodiyattom theatre has culminated in a book titled, ‘Kutiyattom Theatre: The Earliest Living Tradition.’
The actor may be wearing one costume but the character that he is depicting evolves to become several others. This tradition of playing multiple characters and the fact that the same story, played by different actors, can elicit such varied responses from the same perceiver render art forms such as Kathakali and Koodiyattom unique, according to Dr. Poulose. He was speaking during a lecture-demonstration on ‘Natyashastra and Kerala’s contributions’ with specific reference to Koodiyattom. The programme was organised by the Malayalam Department of the regional centre of the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit at Vanchiyoor, as part of a University Grants Commission-aided two-day national seminar on ‘Visual arts: theory and practice’ on Wednesday. With him was Kalamandalam Sindhu, an exponent of the art form who has performed extensively abroad. He began with talking on the components that make up a visual arts performance. He listed the the author, actor and audience as the key facets. The audience did not comprise an entirely different entity from the actor, as the two were together, he said.