Conveying message of Jesus Christ through ''Kathakali''

Kathakali artist
Kochi, Jul 16: Kathakali, the classical dance form of Kerala, which flourished around the temples for decades, is all set to debut in the Catholic Church premises.

Kathakali,considered one of the oldest theatre forms of the world, traditionally was based on themes derived from Hindu epics Ramayana, Mahabaratha and other myths and legends of Hinduism.

For the first time in the history of this celebrated dance drama, the message and essence of Holy Eucharist (Qurbana) will be recreated through the classic and well-defined ''mudras'' and Jesus Christ will step into elaborate costumes.

The 90-minute performance titled ''Divyakarunyacharitam'' (Story of Holy Eucharist) is based on the poem Ithu Ninakkai (This is given up for you) written by famous Christian lyricist Father Joy Chencheril, MCBS, and recited by well known Malayali poet Murugan Kattakada.

Father Joy told PTI the theme is based on ''Last Supper of Christ''. "Irrespective of religion,the message of eucharastic love shown by Christ by washing the feet of disciples and by breaking his body as life to the world would be portrayed during the performance".

The concept, consultation and production is by Father Joy. Radha Madhavan has written the Aattakkatha.

Celebrated exponent Kalamandalam Sajan will lead a dancers' team to give expressions of the mystery of Holy Eucharist. e Kottackal Madhu will do the recital.The poem,again first of a kind about Eucharist, has been well received by Catholics.

There are eight characters, including Jesus Christ, in this performance. Performers are all traditional Kathakali artistes most of them are from Kalamandalam.

The first performance will be at Pastoral Orientation Centre here on July 21, to be inaugurated by Major Archbishop of Syro Malabar church Mar George Alencherry and attended by priests, religious and cultural leaders and Kathakali lovers.Author and former Chief Secretary Dr D Babu Paul will give the introductory speech.

Shakespeare's King Lear has been performed by Kathakali artistes earlier. 


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