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Awakening a living world on a Kūṭiyāṭṭam stage

Awakening a living world on a Kūṭiyāṭṭam stage / Einat Bar-On Cohen.
Albany : State University of New York Press, [2024]
Copyright Notice Date
Physical Description
xi, 227 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
"Explores the cultural dynamics of this ancient form of Sanskrit theater"-- Provided by publisher.
Kūṭiyāṭṭam, an ancient form of Sanskrit theater from Kerala, was traditionally performed only in temples by members of two temple assistant castes. Today, however, it has spread to other castes and to venues outside temples. It is a fantastically complex, sophisticated, layered performance, toiling as amassing and perfecting ways of materializing a world where gods, demons, and mythical heroes live, bringing the audience into these other realities. Taking an anthropological approach, Awakening a Living World on a Kūṭiyāṭṭam Stage explores how Kūṭiyāṭṭam uses cultural dynamics, gleaned from temple ritual and theater, to remove the distinctions between mundance reality and the mediaeval plays being performed on stage. The unique features of Kūṭiyāṭṭam---makeup masks, enthralling drumming, delivering words in mudrā gestures, a shimmering lamp, make and female actors---all intertwine to animate stories from the great Indian eposes. Analyzing the cultural dynamics at work in Kūṭiyāṭṭam foregrounds a symbolic anthropology in which representation and symbols are shunned, while endless repetitions fill the stage with reverberating somatic intensities of profound depth. Thus, a new kind of living reality emerges that includes the protagonists of the play---gods, demons, humans, animals, and objects---together with the artist, the audience, and beyond--back cover.
Added to Catalog
May 06, 2024
SUNY series in Hindu studies.
Suny series in Hindu studies
Includes bibliographical references (pages 203-222) and index.
1. Kūṭiyāṭṭam
2. The World of Hanūman: Creating a Fluid Cosmos on a Kūṭiyāṭṭam Stage
3. Storytelling in Kūṭiyāṭṭam, How an Inclusive World is Created
4. White, Black, and Red Śūrpaṇakhā, Golden Sītā: Cosmic Events of Female Intensities in Kūṭiyāṭṭam
5. Cūṭala-k-kūttu: Performing at the Cremation Grounds
6. The Vidūṣaka: and the Connectivity of Human Frailties
7. The Gods are Coaxed into Our Lives

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