‘Kutiyattam’ meaning acting together in Malayalam is an ancient Sanskrit theatre. It is a traditional dance drama which has a long history dating back to 2000 years. It is performed by the members of the Nangiar and the Chakiyar community of Kerala.
Kutiyattam is a stage presentation of individual acts from a Sanskrit drama, in a highly structured, stylized and specialized format. Koothambalam is the stage where Kutiyattam performance takes place. It is a traditional theatre located on the right side of a temple.
Kutiyattam is considered to be the first theatrical art form in which both men and women together appear on the stage. It is an art form operating through the imaginative sharing between the actor and the audience.
In this video one can see the performance of Kalamandalam Sivan Nampoothiri as Parvati in Kailasodharanam. Parvati is the wife of Lord Shiva in Hindu mythology. In this play Ravana is the main character and he performs the other characters by wearing the same costume. The artist is using a particular costume called Kathi and is used to portray valorous but vicious characters.