Cheruthuruthy
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Kerala has a spectacular heritage of performing, ritual, folk and classical arts.
Towards the close of the nineteenth century the traditional arts of Kerala were on the verge of extinction. The social, political and cultural factors which contributed to the downfall of the art forms are many and varied.

The dawn of the twentieth century witnessed a cultural renaissance all over India. In Kerala among those who spearheaded the cultural renaissance poet Vallathol Narayana Menon is an immortal name. Besides being an outstanding poet and scholar, Vallathol was a passionate lover of Kathakali and other similar classical dance-theatre traditions of Kerala. Against all odds he took up the task of saving Kathakali and other stylized art-forms from eclipse. Kakkad Karanavappad, an eminent scholar and Manakkulam Mukundaraja, a devoted cultural activist, were an unending source of inspiration to Vallathol in the establishment of Kerala KALAMANDALAM along the banks of the river Bharathapuzha in Cheruthuruthy, a small village in the northern edge of Trissur District.
The Bharathapuzha is here spanned by a fine bridge. On the opposite side is the Shornur Railway Station.The birth of Kalamandalam was remarkable in many respects. It was the first institutional step in the cultural history of Kerala to start training in classical performing arts which were so far left to the patronage of provincial kings and landlords. The artists, especially the Kathakali artists, were in general, the aesthetic victims of the society. They were silent sufferers of the caste hierarchy, prevailing in Kerala, during the period.. With the establishment of Kalamandalam the social and cultural emancipation of traditional artists became a reality. At the same time Kathakali and Mohiniyattam, the two major art forms, were heading to extinction for want of patronage. It was Vallathol who ensured their continued existence and progress under the newly evolved institutional set.

In 1965 Kalamandalam added Koodiyattam to its curriculum. Koodiyattam is the only extant stylized Sanskrit theatre having a tradition of two thousand years. Painkulam Rama Chakyar who headed the Koodiyattam department was a maverick. Rama Chakyar boldly brought Koothu and Koodiyattam outside the temples in the late fifties disregarding the displeasure of caste-conscious conservatives in the field and liberated these esoteric art forms from the dark cells of taboos and inhibitions. From 1965  Koodiyattam, Koothu and Nangiarkoothu were made available in Kalamandalam for study for anyone interested. Kalamandalam has produced a handful of gifted artists in the field. Recently the UNESCO has recognized Koodiyattam as an illustrious example of manifestation of the heritage of human culture and the contribution of Kalamandalam in this regard is significant. 

Other performing arts that are taught at and performed by Kalamandalam are classical Karnatic music (vocal) Thullal, a semi- classical solo dance-drama, Panchavadyam, an example of one of the wonderful instrumental ensembles of Kerala and Mridangam, the foremost among the percussion instruments in Karnatic music. The Department of Classical Dance has Mohiniyattam as its thrust area; but Bharatanaatyam and Kuchipudi also are taught and performed as subsidiary subjects.

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