Mahabharata to be staged, Chavittunatakam style

The rehearsal for the Mahabharatam Chavittunatakam in progress in Fort Kochi.

The rehearsal for the Mahabharatam Chavittunatakam in progress in Fort Kochi.

The Fort Kochi-based Kerala Kala Nilayam, which has been promoting and working to revive Chavittunatakam, is preparing to stage the Mahabharata in the Chavittunatakam form.

Britto Vincent, a veteran artiste who will play a lead role in the play, said the Chavittunatakam version of a brief Mahabharata had been presented during the 1970s. However, it had not continued after artistes involved in the presentation lost touch with the old script for the play.

The rehearsal for the staging of the Mahbaharata has begun at the Pallath Raman Cultural Centre at Fort Kochi. The presentation will last about one hour and 15 minutes and feature three major characters - Sri Krishna, Arjuna and Duryodhana. There will be a total of 15 artistes participating in the play.

Mr. Vincent said the Chavittunatakam version of the Mahabharata would be staged depending on the demand. It had been planned that it would also be staged at temple festivals, including at Kodungalloor, he added.

He said the original script for the stage version, written by late P.F. Joseph of Fort Kochi, had been lost.

The presentation will also be an effort to make Chavittunatakam more popular among people not familiar with the art form, which involves colourful characters in exotic costumes, who perform by stamping their feet to the rhythm of music. The art form used to be a mixture of Portuguese drama and Tamil songs, but it had evolved over the years, he said.

Mr. Vincent will essay the role of Sri Krishna, Henry Kannamaly will be Duryodana, and K.P. Benny will be Arjuna in the performance.

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Printable version | Jul 18, 2022 1:25:19 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/mahabharata-to-be-staged-chavittunatakam-style/article65570373.ece