Dance

Beyond boundaries

A student of Varanasi Center of National School of Drama at a Koodiyattam workshop at SNA Kutiyattam Kendram, Thiruvananthapuram

A student of Varanasi Center of National School of Drama at a Koodiyattam workshop at SNA Kutiyattam Kendram, Thiruvananthapuram   | Photo Credit: Manoj Krishna M

more-in

Students of the National School of Drama, Varanasi, attended a Koodiyattam workshop conducted by SNA Kutiyattam Kendra, Thiruvananthapuram

A calm December evening was filled with the rapid beats of the mizhavu when 20 theatre students from the National School of Drama (NSD), Varanasi performed Kailasodharanam, one of Koodiyattam’s more challenging plays. The play was the culmination of their 25-day familiarisation workshop with Koodiyattam, the 2,000-year-old Sanskrit classical theatre.

The workshop was structured in a manner that allowed the participants to understand the art form through class room training as well as stage performances. The classroom training sessions were conducted by renowned Koodiyattam artistes such as Margi Sajeev Narayana Chakyar, Margi Madhu, Sooraj Nambiar, Kalamandalam Krishnendu and Kalamandalam Sajikumar.

A student of Varanasi Center of National School of Drama at a Koodiyattam workshop at SNA Kutiyattam Kendram, Thiruvananthapuram

A student of Varanasi Center of National School of Drama at a Koodiyattam workshop at SNA Kutiyattam Kendram, Thiruvananthapuram   | Photo Credit: Manoj Krishna M

The workshop covered aspects that included basic body movements, eye movements, hasta mudras and also the percussion part of Koodiyattam. Lectures by exponents such as KG Poulose and Ettumanoor P Kannan helped the participants understand the history and aesthetics of this age old art form.

The participants also witnessed a few Koodiyattam performances during their stay in the capital city.

Each participant performed a small portion of Kailasodharanam, which was evaluated by the trainers on the last day of the workshop.

“The decision of the National School of Drama, Varanasi to bring their students to Kerala to study Koodiyattam is laudable. The participants got the opportunity to see the art form in its original cultural background and learn a little about Koodiyattam. I am sure the students will use this experience in their future creative theatre activities,” said Kannan, director of SNA Kutiyattam Kendra.

Ettumanoor P Kannan at a Koodiyattam workshop at SNA Kutiyattam Kendram, Thiruvananthapuram

Ettumanoor P Kannan at a Koodiyattam workshop at SNA Kutiyattam Kendram, Thiruvananthapuram   | Photo Credit: Manoj Krishna M

The involvement of the participants was earnest. They went through the rigorous training process with great enthusiasm and involvement.

Gaurav Singh, a participant, hopes to polish his Koodiyattam skills further. According to him, 25 days were insufficient to learn the art form. He hopes to return and learn more about Koodiyattam.

Shree Ram Ji Bali, centre director, NSD Varanasi, who led the group, felt that a familiarisation with Koodiyattam is a must for all modern theatre actors. He believes that many of the methods deployed in modern theatre are present in this classical theatre. While it is a stylised form of acting, it also follows an internal approach, where the character grows within the actor.

The programme was organised by SNA Kutiyattam Kendra, Thiruvananthapuram along with the NSD, Varanasi.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 4:05:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/dance/students-of-the-national-school-of-drama-varanasi-attended-a-koodiyattam-workshop/article30512765.ece

Next Story