Art – Monthly Program of Kathakali, Koodiyattam and Chakyarkoothu in Chennai
Uthareeyam, a recently formed club of classical art lovers in Chennai, will be organising at least one Kathakali show every month in the city from August. Founded by four youths working in Chennai, the idea behind Uthareeyam is to promote classical performing art forms like Kathakali, Koodiyattam and Chakyarkoothu among the youngsters.
“Even though Chennai is the centre of Carnatic music and classical dances, it doesn’t have a club or forum exclusively to promote art forms like Kathakali and Koodiyattam. The only place where Kathakali is taught in Chennai is Kalakshetra Foundation. We hope this will provide a platform for the young generation in this city to get acquainted with our traditional art forms,” said Murali Varriar, one of the founding members.
The founders of Uthareeyam received overwhelming response when they conducted their first programme “Kirmmeeravadham” at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in June. Although the second programme was organised as part of the 2nd death anniversary of veteran Kathakali artist Kottakkal Sivaraman in Kerala in July, the third one, Duryodhanavadham, held at the Asan Memorial Hall in the city on Saturday was a turning point. “At least 250 people came to see the play. It was a good crowd for a Kathakali show. This support gives us immense confidence to move ahead with our future endeavors,” said Sajeesh Areeppurath, another member.
The founding members of Uthareeyam have bigger ideas. “The fund we generate from the plays will be utilised for the welfare of senior and ailing artists. We will also provide platform for young and poor artists,” said Varriar.
As a fist step towards this direction, Uthareeyam facilitated veteran Kathakali artist Sadanam Bhasi for receiving the prestigious Black Boxes Award from the Butler University for his outstanding contribution to the art. Even though Bhasi has been performing for the past 30 years, he was not selected for an award in his motherland.