A screen illuminated by twenty-one lamps made of coconut shells, placed equidistant from each other on a wooden beam behind the screen. In a clever play of light against the inanimate figures made of leather, the spectators see an epic created out of shadows.Tholpaavakoothu, a form of puppetry involves the use of light unlike its counterparts.
The traditional theatre act is an integration of Aryan and Dravidian culture, performed as a ritual in temples as a part of annual festivals in Bhadrakaali temples. The ritualistic art form rooted on the famous epics, was restricted to the districts of Malappuram, Palakkad and Thrissur in Kerala. The pioneers of Tholpavakoothu known as pulavar, is an honorary title given to the lead puppeteer who is also a scholar well versed in Sanskrit and epics will lead the show. The dying art form is making a revival by exploiting its scope of research and infusing contemporary techniques and stories in the act.
The cultural nights at SPACES fest will witness a Tholpaavakoothu performance by Kalasree Ramachandra Pulavar and team. A recipient of many prestigious awards, Ramachandra Pulavar is on a mission to revive the dying art form by making it accessible and exclusive. The act will be a unique experience while we join hands to identify the art form and understand a rich cultural heritage imbibed in it.