Kalari-Fest by Udayan`s Masters
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by Giuseppe & Maria   
Wednesday, 04 April 2012

Teyyam performance (Photographer: Maria)Kalarippayat, Mohiniyattam and Theyyam were performed by the Udayan's Masters at Sri Aurobindo Auditorium. Kalarippayat is a great and ancient physical, cultural and martial art of Kerala, which was in prevalence from time immemorial. It is primarily an art of physical culture, well developed in a most scientific way. It aims at giving a practitioner of the art, perfect control over his body balance, flexibility, stamina and speed, and perfect neuro-muscular co-ordination, an ability of the body to react instinctively to the senses.

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Theyyam is an artistic dance form where metaphysical thoughts and expressions of immortal souls are impersonated to a believer through a mortal body. Theyyam originated from "Kaliyattam", once practiced by the tribal community of north Kerala. Theyyam, had grown to the present form through many transformations since its origin. Landlords and chieftains of those days are the main forces behind many of such transformations. The community and its body began to use this art to propagate the major theme of social enforcement. The artists are also encouraged by the authorities to introduce new themes into its traditional layers and classified different acts and expressions to match specific needs for their desire. The character representations were very broad. They range from mild to wild in representations. Theyyam is a sect in which old heroes are sanctified and worshipped as the guardians of villages and homes. Yet, it includes a complex universe centered on the belief that a man can - after suitable mental, physical and spiritual preliminaries - do the costume of a particular deity and then become that deity. In this elevated state he assumes superhuman and divine powers - speaking, moving, blessing and even healing as a god or goddess. What is crucial is that the person is not possessed by the spirit of the deity. Mohiniyattom performance (Photographer: Maria) Kalarippayat: a fight with sticks (Photographer: Maria) Kalarippayat: group fight (Photographer: Maria) Kalarippayat with swords: two fighters against one  (Photographer: Maria) Kalarippayat: the one wins on the two fighters (Photographer: Maria) Teyyam, fighters and drumers  (Photographer: Maria)