The Kuttu Festival 2005 offered a rare opportunity to experience a galaxy of known and unknown theatre genres from South India in a traditional village setting.
The Festival began on March 1, 2005 at 8 P.M. and ended on March 6, 2005 at about 7 A.M. Every Festival night featured five to six different theatre, dance or puppetry companies. The venue was the open-air theatre of the Kattaikkuttu Sangam at Punjarasantankal Village, near Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu (India).
The Festival programme combined an unconventional mixture of tradition, ritual and contemporeinity. Purposefully the organizers wanted to transgress the boundaries that divide high and low culture, town and village, local and global, insider and outsider - albeit if only for the time of the festival's duration.
Five South Indian states were represented by important theatre traditions, which were performed in the local languages: Kathakali (Kerala), Yakshagana (Karnataka), Vitinatakam (Andhra Pradesh), Prahallada Nataka (Orissa) and Kattaikkuttu (Tamilnadu). The Festival hosted a choice of other performance genres from the Southern region and beyond, including leather puppetry from Andhra Pradesh, Mangala Isai and Bharata Natyam from Tamilnadu, contemporary theatre, dance and puppetry performances by groups from Pondicherry, Kerala, and Bangalore and novel Kattaikkuttu performances by the students of the Kattaikkuttu Youth Theatre School from Kanchipuram, in addition to a number of special entre-acts.
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