Kerala's mahabharata on stage

Texts and performative practices in kutiyattam drama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article concerns the performance of Kūiyāam enactments of Mahābhārata narratives and the written texts on which those performances are based. The Kūiyāam tradition of Sanskrit drama enactment in Kerala has been recognised by UNESCO as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity but is also profoundly concerned with written texts. I argue that the ways Kūiyāam performers have modified and elaborated upon the dramas texts have resulted in enactments more devotionally oriented than are the texts themselves, and that this distinctively devotional performative practice has contributed to the tradition s longevity. I also argue that performances in secular settings in recent decades represent both an opportunity and a danger to the tradition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-142
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Hindu Studies
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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Onstage
Drama
Mahabharata
Kerala
Enactment
Danger
Performer
Intangible Heritage
Sanskrit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies

Cite this

Kerala's mahabharata on stage : Texts and performative practices in kutiyattam drama. / Sullivan, Bruce M.

In: Journal of Hindu Studies, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2010, p. 124-142.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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