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30th October 2023 (12 Topics)

Kathaprasangam

Context:

At a time when Kathaprasangam is literally on the verge of extinction, people in Kozhikode are trying to spread awareness of social issues through the art form.

What is Kathaprasangam?

  • Kadhaprasangam (lyrical narrative or story telling performance) is a performing art of Kerala, India.
  • It combines speaking, acting, and singing to present a story.
  • A performance typically lasts5 to 3 hours.
  • Costumes, make-up, or settings are not used.
  • The main artist, the Kaadhikan, tells the story, acts and sings with two or three accompanying instrumentalists.
  • Themes are largely from classical and popular
  • It originated from an earlier art form Harikathakalakshepam which used similar techniques, but differed in theme and style.

While Harikadhakalakshepam was based on themes from puranas and epics, Kadhaprasangam received themes largely from classical and popular literature.

Famous patrons:

  • Manmadhan, Keshava Panicker, Joseph Kaimapramban, Sambasivan, Kedamangalam Sadanandan, Cherthala Bhavani Amma, Ammini Brahmani Amma, Thiruvalla Ponnamma etc.

Similar Art forms:

  • Kathakalakshepa, Burrakatha of Andhra Pradesh and
  • Villupattu of Tamil Nadu shows affinity to kathaprasangam.
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