Kattaikkuttu: A Rural Theatre Tradition in South India (Paperback)

Kattaikkuttu: A Rural Theatre Tradition in South India By Hanne M. de Bruin, Simon Shepherd (Editor) Cover Image

Kattaikkuttu: A Rural Theatre Tradition in South India (Paperback)


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This is the first book to offer a clear introduction to Kattaikkuttu (or Terukkuttu), a vibrant, vocal and physical outdoor Tamil theatre tradition from India. It describes the theatre's characteristic heroic nature as expressed through its principal, male kattai characters, explores its history, social status and ritual context, and examines the production of all-night plays.

After placing Kattaikkuttu in the wider, competitive context of the performing arts in India, Hanne M. de Bruin introduces readers to some of the debates about the form and provides an overview of the different elements that make up a Kattaikkuttu performance. It considers its performance spaces and the way the form has changed, such as its transition towards an independent and more professional theatre genre, as well as the opening up of the form to different castes and to women. It covers the production and frameworks of all-night performances, uses the Mahabharata play Karna Moksam as a case study and examines recent changes in the Kattaikkuttu repertory.

In addition, the book looks in more detail at the role of the performer, including the training of a Kattaikkuttu novice, the performance score of actor-singers that underlie a specific role or vesam, and a seasoned performer's agency in interpreting well-known roles. Finally, the study turns to recent innovations, in particular the creation of new work and the Kattaikkuttu Gurukulam.
Hanne M. de Bruin is Programme Director and co-founder of Kattaikkuttu Sangam, a center for performing arts in Tamil Nadu, India, where Kattaikkuttu is performed and artists are trained in its traditions. From 2016-2018 she was a Fellow at the International Research Center for Interweaving of Performance Cultures, Berlin, and in 2019, 2020 and 2023 a guest-lecturer at Ashoka University, India. Her previous publications include Kattaikkuttu: Flexibility of a South Indian Theatre Tradition (1999), Karna Moksham or Karna's Death (English translation of an Kattaikkuttu play, 1998) and the co-edited volume Between Fame and Shame (2011).
Product Details ISBN: 9781350236608
ISBN-10: 1350236608
Publisher: Methuen Drama
Publication Date: October 19th, 2023
Pages: 216
Language: English