‘Attakkalari 2011,' a four-day Kathakali festival organised as part of the decennial celebrations of Thodayam Kathakali Yogam, concluded here on Tuesday.
Three stalwarts of Kathakali, Kalamanadalam Ramankutty Nair, Chemanchery Kunhiraman Nair, and Kalamandalam Gangadharan, were presented the awards in memory of poet Vallathol Narayana Menon, T.M.B. Nedungadi and T.N. Balakrishnan Thampan respectively on the occasion.
K.G. Poulose, former Vice-Chancellor of Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University, inaugurated the valedictory programmes.
In his address, Dr. Poulose expressed the anxiety that the artistes as well as fans of Kathakali these days had not risen to the standard set by the tradition of the art. He said there was no point in lamenting over the scarcity of good artistes in the new generation, as society was not doing much to support the artistes who were financially insecure. “To develop art, there is a need to support the artistes emotionally and financially,” he said.
“Most of the students in the first batch at Kalamandalam faced financial difficulty and had to accept the patronage of external or foreign agencies. Only Krishnan Nair resisted it, but he made the art form independent of the feudal set- up by accepting his payment,” he said.
“The name ‘Attakkalari' signifies the whole essence of Kathakali. ‘Attam' is what makes ‘Natyam' poetic. ‘Manodharmam' and ‘Pakarnattam', two components of ‘Attam', are the contributions of Kerala to the World Theatre. ‘Kalari' signifies the tiresome learning process of Kathakali and thus Kathakali is ‘the beauty of hard work'. ,” Dr. Poulose said.