Sam, Reflection, Gathering Together!

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Workshop and symposium 15 – 24 July 2005 Vaimozhi Parambaryathile Vangmaya Saviseshatakal (*); English translation: Intangible aspects in oral tradition of learning
(*) Vaimozhi oral; Parambaryathile tradition; Vangmaya intangible; Saviseshatakal aspects

Introduction The early art forms from which today’s music, dance and drama of central Kerala are derived were not based on shastra treatises or lessons found in printed textbooks. Instead, they were developed and transmitted with the help of oral training methods. These arts also relate to the various activities of the region’s daily life, social customs and the seasonal cycles on which the sowing and harvesting of various produces still depend. Even the rhythms and body movements associated with the rowing of boats on the many waterways of Kerala are reflected in some of the popular art forms. Not surprisingly, therefore, the gurukulam personalized way of teaching an art is still said to be the most effective and enjoyable method of learning an art and exploring its creative scope in various ways that enrich modern life.

Aims This workshop aims at bringing the some of the proven teaching methods and learning strategies within the reach of performers and educationists, particularly those not contented with the impersonal, often ineffective, mass education prevailing today. The experience conveyed by renowned exponents and scholars in the course of a ten days artistic immersion programme is therefore meant to be documented and disseminated as widely possible for the benefit of all.

“Sam - reflection, gathering together!” is therefore the appropriate motto for this special event at Natanakairali, a centre where arts have been researched, propagated and taught in their proper context for three decades.

Concept The idea of kali “play” is found in theatre and dance, for instance in the name Thiruvadirakali, Kaikkuttikali and Kathakali for Kerala’s most popular dance drama, and also in games played for fun, such as the Pandukali ball game performed by Mohini (see frontiscpiece from a temple murals and p. 35, Wall Paintings in North Kerala/India by A. Frenz and K. Krishnakumar Marar, Arnoldsche Art Publishers, Stuttgart, 2004).
Thiruvadirakali ritualistic dance elements are also of special interest in this workshop. Assignments presented in educational sessions are based on vaitari syllables, kriya hand gestures and kolam floor patterns; bhava theatrical moods and the story characters associated with them. The presenters of these sessions explore the scope for introducing some typical artistic elements in school classroom as well as adult education and for the benefit of groups with special needs (e.g. the physically or mentally handicapped and persons following a specific rehabilitation programme).

Venue Natanakairali, Ammannur Chakyar Madhom, Irinjalakuda, Kerala 680121 >> Printfriendly version >>