Wednesday, January 21, 2009

grotesque artform

Is Kathakali a grotesque artform?

How popular is it?

Even at the time of conceiving it Kathakali was never meant for the common man, it seems.

By any yardstick, Ottanthullal can be called a popular artform rather than Kathakali. It was staged for the ordinary people and appreciated by them -- even now.

Kathakali was confined to the courtyards or temple premises usually belonging to the elite. The rich costumes, the complex lyrics and mind-boggling mudras were for the wealthy and those educated to appreciate it.

It was enjoyed (or forced to enjoy) by antharjanam, who did not have any other avenue for entertainment or denied any, outside their dwelling units.

At a time when channels beam unlimited sops 24x7, Kathakali, which can be appreciated only after going through a rigorous learning procedure, is just not for anybody.

So it has to return to where it belonged to or originated from -- elite's courtyards.

Is there any necessity to make it popular?

What does it mean?

Ask popular cine artistes to perform it wearing trendy costumes and accompanied by pop music?

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