Rare Kutiyattam form to be staged in Kerala capital

Tuesday, Sep 1, 2015,16:49 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | ‘Manthramkam’, one of the rarest segments of India’s only surviving Sanskrit theatre tradition ‘Kutiyattam’, will be staged here for five days from tomorrow. The Kutiyattam Kendra here, under the Sangeet Natak Akademi, is organising the ‘Manthramkam Festival’ at Museum Auditorium from tomorrow, providing classical art buffs a chance to enjoy the rare art form.
Manthramkam is the third act of ancient Sanskrit dramatist Bhasa’s ‘Pratitnjayoughandharayana’. It revolves around the story of Udayana, the king of Kaushambi, and Ujjain ruler Mahasena who took him into his captivity. Veteran Kutiyattam exponent and Akademi awardee Kalamandalam Rama Chakyar will perform a compressed form of the play in five days, which is originally performed 41 nights, the organisers said.
The festival is organised to mark the third anniversary of getting a regular venue for Kutiyattam and allied arts at the Museum Auditorium here, Kendra officials said.
The oldest theatre form in existence with an antiquity of 2000 years, Kutiyattam is the predecessor to the other well-known art forms of Kerala like Kathakali.
It has been hailed by UNESCO as a ‘masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity’ in 2001.