Chavittunatakam

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Chavittunatakam, one in all the comparatively lesser famous art forms within the country, was showcased at India’s 1st Republic Day Parade on Jan twenty six, 1950.

It is a for mentioned that a delighted Solon couldn’t contain himself once the contingent from Kerala went past. once the presentation by the Yuvajana Chavittunatakam Kalasamithy, a organisation from Gothuruthu, fashioned in 1938, he insisted on congratulating them in person and sporting the plumed helmet worn by the actors. A black and white image of the informal, out-of-protocol act speaks a great deal regarding the draw of this entrancing kind that has as its genesis Morality Plays, European opera, itinerant Tamil dance-drama, and components of Koodiyattam and Kalaripayuttu.

Since its putting presentation at the maiden national parade and til now, Chavittunatakam has existed on the fringes of our cultural spectrum, ne’er receiving the due it deserves. these days this littoral kind that was once unremarkable performed in Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and tiny areas of coastal Kerala exists in exactly 3 targeted pockets of Kalavaur in Alappuzha district, Fort cochin china and Gothuruthu in Ernakulam district.

However, the kind has recently got a recent lease of life. Last year it had been introduced as a kind to be bestowed in competitions at the State Youth competition. Father V.P. Joseph, a Catholic priest United Nations agency runs the Kripasanam Chavittunatakam Academy in Alappuzha, has been at the forefront of efforts to revive and popularize this kind. “I have worked towards this for the last twenty years, approaching totally different governments and presenting the case of Chavittunatakam. In 2008 it had been introduced as associate degree item of exhibition at the youth competition in Kollam.”

The kind could be a synthesis of assorted histories, creating it one in all the foremost fascinating distillation of our cultural crossovers. JiJo Puthezhath, a journalist from Gothuruthu and a keen follower of the dance-drama, says: “It could be a sixteenth century gift of the Portuguese colonizers. owing to the traveling nature of the missionaries for evangelical purpose the art imbibed native flavors like vernacular dialogues, names of characters, some classic and a components. The themes were in the main Biblical – stories of the Crusades and therefore the parables. The dialogues square measure sung and spoken during a mixture of Tamil, recent South Dravidian and Portuguese. This was influenced by the traveling Tamil dance drama troupes. this is often distinctive to the shape and a signal of its cosmopolitan feature. Costumes square measure loud and in bright colors. The actors wear boots, gowns, gaudy headgear and colorful costumes, with a robust European influence. They sing and deliver dialogues. High foot stamping, nearly as high as troopers walking at the Wagah border, could be a feature singular thereto.”

Once Chavittunatakam was declared collectively of the events for college competition competitions, it’s necessitated modifications. That has caused a rift between practitioners – the purists versus the modernists. the initial kind was elaborate in terms of your time and presentation, extending over many days. The noted play ‘Catamaran Charithram’, a story of King Carolingian, stretched for fourteen days. these days it’s a two-hour drama and emended versions of twenty minutes too square measure being created.

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