This collaborative project attempts to protect Kerala’s fading traditional art forms
Look to the past to gain guidance into the future. That’s what Kanta Kochhar, an Indian American dance artiste and scholar, hopes Malayalis will achieve via this upcoming two-day event which focusses on Kerala’s traditional art forms namely Kalaripayattu, Daveli, and Kuttiyattam. But, how exactly does revitalising and honouring a myriad of past heritages, surrounding folk and classical performance forms, help the next generation?
The Fulbright-Nehru Senior Scholar—who is co-facilitating the symposium alongside K K Gopalakrishnan, the former director of the Kuttiyattam Kendra—explains that the programme will engage audiences via talks, performances, exhibits, and film screenings with a special focus on the aforementioned vernacular art forms.
“Titled Culture Heritage and Our Future Cities, this showcase is a culmination of six months of research. The idea is to start a dialogue encompassing our past heritage and find ways to draw parallels from it to our present identity. Besides hosting brainstorming sessions, presenting talks, and showing in-house documentaries on the subject, we will also showcase a thought-provoking art installation,” says Kochhar. This sculpture-oriented, video-based immersive installation attempts to show visitors how the gap between past and future can be bridged using new-media technologies like motion capture and sensors.
A long-term objective of the endeavour is to create a research/performance network where practising artistes can work hand-in-hand with scholars. Kochhar also hopes to address the lack of accessible spaces/venues where such art forms can thrive across South India and to promote cross-cultural understanding with the larger international community.
`250. On April 21-22.
At Kerala Museum.