JUNOON ARTS AT PLAY- SW
“Folk tales and myths, they’ve lasted for a reason. We tell them over and over because we keep finding truths in them and we keep finding life in them.”
Kattaikuttu, an ancient form of play passed orally to posterity, having its origins from Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu, is an art form with a difference. The artists narrate the story, but their expressions and gestures help us live through the story.
The Kattaikuttu performance at DPS Coimbatore started with an explanation about the art form, and about the preparation that goes into the performance. The narrator also explained how each process of prepping the artists for the show calls for the invocation of the Divine; then the make-up, ornamentation and setting a puja is conducted.
Then, it was time to watch the show. The first show was on Kuratti, a beautiful woman; the subsequent shows were retellings of the Mahabharatha. The show was presented by people of all age groups; the oldest being 64 and the youngest being 14. This aspect of the art form really captivated the audience, as it instilled the feeling that art is beyond age. The spectacle ended with a thunderous applause, followed by an interactive session, where students were asked to voice out their queries.
The rendezvous engaged us even more with the performers and revealed the background of each performer.
Also, the Kattaikuttu’s style of humour is very unique and the performances last throughout the night without respite. Then, we were taught about their signature moves and tricks used to attain mastery, to balance onself and the differences in masculine and feminine movements.
After this session, we learnt, not only through textbooks, but in real life that india is an oasis of art forms. People say ‘life imitates art or art imitates life’. Either way, the Junoon organized Kattaikuttu performance fed art into life and life into art, which would have died without the timely action of certain individuals.
We are grateful for Junoon and DPS Coimbatore for organizing and conducting this spectacle. We are certain that this performance would have kindled the hidden dramatic abilities in many.