Lord Shiva in Kailasodharanam
Kutiyattam is viewed as one of the oldest theatrical arts in India. This ancient art form is one which is promoted by UNESCO since it safeguards a rare oral and intangible tradition.
The word Kutiyattam in Malayalam means ‘combined acting’. The prefix ‘Kuti’ means ‘combined ’and ‘attam’ means ‘together’. It is a blend of classical Sanskrit tradition and Kerala’s cultural heritage.
Segments from the plays of famous playwrights like Bhasa, Kalidasa, Bhavabhuti, Harsha are performed in Kutiyattam. It is performed by the members of the Nangiar and the Chakiyar community of Kerala. The place where it is performing is called Koothambalams, a traditional theatre in temples.
In this video one can see the performance of Kalamandalam Sivan Nampoothiri as Lord Shiva in Kailasodharanam (raising of Mount Kailasa). In this play Ravana is the main character and he performs the other two characters, viz, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati by wearing the same costume. This type of performance is one of the ways in which Kutiyattam is performed, a single character presenting all the characters.