Death of Bali in Kutiyattam
Kutiyattam, the oldest existing Sanskrit theatre in India, is remarkable for more than one reason. Its tradition is well preserved in Kerala. UNESCO has recently declared Kutiyattam as a masterpiece of oral and intangible tradition of humanity.
Kuityattam has a history dating back to 2000 years. It deals with the plays of eminent Sanskrit playwrights like Bhasa, Kalidasa, Harsha and Saktibhadra. However, only one or two acts are taken from their plays and by adding many extraneous elements, these acts are developed into full fledged plays.
In Malayalam, Kutiyattam means ‘acting together’ and as the name indicates, it is the acting together of a group of artistes on stage. It has also the distinction of being an age old art form in which both the men and the women perform on stage.
Kutiyattam is performed in Koothambalam, special temple theatres built as an annex to the major temples. Sanskrit is the major linguistic medium. The Vidushaka or jester, however, speaks in the vernacular.
In the video, the death of Bali, the monkey king who was slain by Lord Rama, is seen.