The much acclaimed Kijote kathakali is reaching the shores of Malabar at the stages of Kerala Literature Festival 2019.Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote (published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615), the classic comic epic novel is representative of a whole culture that is very different from the moorings that nourished Kathakali. Traditional Kathakali performances are always based on stories from Indian epics rendered strictly conforming to the grammar and structure of this theatre. Margi is one of the most important Kathakali companies in India, it is also a training centre of Indian performing arts with its headquarters in Trivandrum, Kerala. When the process of writing Quixote into a Kathakali play began the illusory world that Cervantes’ hero inhabits comes alive.
The dimension of illusion versus reality was highlighted in this theatre adaptation by splitting the main character into two: the older QUIXANO and the hero Quixote, performed by two actors, the latter in traditional Kathakali costume. Furthermore the themes of heroism versus comedy (personified in Sancho, the Squire), and the dream of romance (Dulcinea, the illusory lover) also serve as important material in the original For this reason, it was possible to adapt this classic novel in Kathakali style adhering to the grammar of composition while bringing out its universal essence. Apart from this intercultural challenge, Kijote Kathakali is also an attempt to bring Kathakali, through Cervantes spirit, into the context of modern theatre by the use of other theatrical techniques which are not the Kathakali conventions. The dramaturgy of Kijote Kathakali is composed, in one hand with scenes that are in the Kathakali grammatical conventions and also by adding other texts in prose of the original Don Quixote by Cervantes and other authors in Spanish. But even apart from including those texts in the play there are other theatrical aspects that are also introduced which are non-Kathakali conventions. The use of the space and the light, the rhythm of the play and the psychological approach to some characters are some of the elements that correspond to a new theatrical approach that the Kathakali actors had to work on and interiorized as their own.
The present play thus captures the spirit of Cervantes’ novel linking select events and other sequences or passages that seamlessly blend Kathakali’s grammar and modern theatre aesthetics. The entire play is conceived in such a way that the production will appeal to Cervantes’ ‘idle readers’ in Spain as well as India and anywhere in the world.
Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) supports the Spanish participation of Nacho García, Atila and Suso through the Programme for the Internationalisation of Spanish Culture (PICE), in the framework of the Mobility grants.
Catch them live at the fourth edition of Kerala Literature festival set from Jan 10-13th at Kozhikode beach. Touted as “The grandest celebration of words, stories and ideas”. The growth the Festival has achieved in just three years has been phenomenal, both in terms of the range and quality of its content and the number of participants as well as of the audience. This would have been impossible but for the increasing number of willing collaborators, the generous cooperation of writers and thinkers from India and abroad and an audience eager to meet the litterateurs and public intellectuals they admire. No wonder KLF is now celebrated as the second largest literary event in Asia, a real people’s festival, the footfall last year touching one hundred and fifty thousand. Set along the shore of the Arabian sea by the beaches of Calicut, KLF offers something for just about every age and interest, bringing readers and writers together for inspiration, entertainment and discussion. Every Year, The festival presents an array of the best artists, actors, celebrities, writers, thinkers and activists closer to people by engaging in meaningful discussions on literature, art, cinema, culture, dance, music, environment, science and technology. This year’s literature in focus is Marathi.
The festival has a parallel, theme-based film festival curated by Bina Paul where films by women across the world will be screened and discussed besides cultural programs every evening by Indian and foreign artists and musicians. She will be amply guided by the Festival Director Shri. K Satchidanandan. A book- fair will also accompany the literary festival.
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