Esplanade Presents | Kalaa Utsavam – Indian Festival of Arts
In association with Soorya (Singapore)
Enjoy this rarely seen ritual theatre as it is performed in three segments over the first weekend of Kalaa Utsavam.
Legends say that the demon Darika, the epitome of evil, challenged Kali (the goddess of destruction and death) to a duel, who had the blessings and grace of Lord Shiva. The battle between the two are enacted yearly in the folk dance drama, mudiyettu, an elaborate traditional theatrical form and community ritual from Kerala. Mudi refers to the headgear of Kali, with her terror-inspiring face, made of wood or metal. It is donned by the actor playing the role of Kali.
Performed in bhagavati kuvus (temples of the goddess) in summer right after harvest, dancers purify themselves beforehand through prayer and fasting, before invoking the goddess by means of drawing an image of her (known as kalam) on the temple floor, thereby preparing the ground.
Mudiyettu performances are performed at Kali temples on the shores of the Chalakkury and Muvattupuzha rivers, at open theatres. It fosters social harmony among different castes and communities, and is the second Kerala art form to be placed on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
For information about late seating, house rules, photography and more, please refer to our general advisory.