KUTIYATTAM, the ancient sanskrit theatre from Kerala by Luisa Spagna

The last fifteen days of the 2017 and the first days of 2018 have been a magical and in some way unespected period in which I have been fully involved in the Kutiyattam, the ancient Sanskrit theatre from Kerala. During almost two weeks, from morning till late in the night, I attended the performances of numerous excellent artists of this art form, and the morning classes of Abhinaya given by two well renowned artists such as Margi Madhu Chakyar and his wife Dr Indu G.; furthermore, I had the chance to meet and share ideas with a lot of beautiful people – scholars, artists, and lovers – interested in Kutiyattam in a number of ways.

At first we attended Natyadharmi, a festival held at Thrissur from 17th to 21st of December 2017, than we moved at Moozhikkulam, to attend the 10th Kootiyattam Festival organized by Nepathya Centre for Kutiyattam lasting from 22nd December 2017 to 1st January 2018.

Such a wonderful gift!

Here some pictures of the two events photographed by Paolo Pacciolla and myself.


Natyadharmi Kutiyattam Mahotsavam 2017.

Sangeet Natak Akademy, Thrissur

The morning session started at 9.00 a.m. with Mizhavu drums. Powerful beats of drums awakened the daily peaceful atmosphere of Thrissur town and our sleepy morning mood.

Nangiarkoothu, a temple dance performed only by women. Here Usha Nambiar, one of the finest performer

Nangiarkoothu, a temple dance performed only by women. Here Kapila Venu, one of the finest performer


10th Koodiyattam Festival

22nd of December 2017 to 1st of January 2018

First evening at the Nepathya’s Kuthambalam. The theatres included into the premises of temples of Kerala, in which stage the Kutiyattam was performed, were called Kuthambalam

Performing Arati, the light of the lamp at the sunset

Everything around welcomes the magial atmosphere and the magnificence of Kutiyattam

Dr Indu G. performs Uthararamacharitham, Seeta’s recapitulation

Margi Madhu Chakyar in a moment of his brilliant performance

Morning sessions were dedicated to Abhinaya and Sanskrit textes. A nourishing moment to deepen the understanding of the vocabulary and esthetics of Kutiyattam. Professors from different Univesities, scholars, researchers, artistis gathered around the intrigate language of one of the finest art forms of India.

Margi Madhu Chakyar and Dr Hindu G

We welcome the New Year 2018 celebrating in front of the Koothambalam after the performance. Margi Madhu Chakyar and his son Nepathya Sreehari Chakyar cut the New Year cake.

Unespected, wonderful surprise to spend ten days with Elisa Ganser after so many years. Lovely, sweet, friendly moments that enriched the event.


Glimpses of Moollizhukam that hosted us during the festival. The river that cross the village is spectacular. A place where the Indian women gathered at sunset to do the washing.

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