Deemed University for Art and Culture
Deemed University for Art and Culture
Cheruthuruthy– 679 531 via Thrissur,
|Telephone||91+ 4884 262418, 262562,|
|Fax||91- 4884 - 262019|
Founded in 1930 by renowned poet Padmabhooshan Vallathol Narayana Menon along the banks of the river Nila in the Cheruthuruthy village of Thrissur District, Kalamandalam is an immortal name in the cultural map of the world. Kalamandalam is strictly a residential center of learning. Veteran teachers and talented students are its inestimable wealth. For art-recitals held in Kalamandalam and outside, artiste-teachers and students participate.
Back to Gurukulam
The challenge before the infant University is to harmonize the traditional Gurukulasampradaya with the modern University system. Classes here start in kalaries early at 4.30 in the morning and continue till late evening. All the students stay in the campus as this is strictly a residential University. The Kalari training focuses on physical exercise, body massage, recapitulation and repetition of lessons learned. Teacher-disciple relation here is exemplary.
This mode of instruction is capable of moulding good artistes. At the same time enculturation of pupil 's mind with ideas of modernity will stimulate their talents and will definitely improve their creative faculty. A sound knowledge of the aesthetics of the art from they are practicing, its comparison with other forms and the process of its evolution through ages will, definitely improve the innovative instincts of young artists. We are in the process of evolving a new system wherein tradition and modernity go hand in hand.
Research is yet to be a vital area in the sphere of classical arts. What we have at hand are mostly eulogies of artists by their admirers. Scientific evaluation and aesthetic interpretations are rare. Art criticism is hence in a degenerated state. To change this situation university will concentrate on laying a strong foundation for research and higher studies in the field of performing arts. For this new generation courses in cultural studies, cultural journalism, multimedia, mass communication, women studies, documentation etc. will benefit a lot form such courses.
The motto of the University is to design a strong system of art education in the traditional way imbibing the spirit of enlightenment of the new age.
In April-May every year Kalamandalam notifies in the leading Malayalam newspapers details of admission to students in the various courses offered here. Every year we receive hundreds of applications from young aspirants for admission to different courses. We have constituted an Interview Board consisting of experts in each art- discipline and members of the Governing Council. Eligible applicants will be requested to appear for an interview at Kalamandalam by the end of May. The Board will judge the aptitude of each applicant and would consider previous training if any he / she has in the art-discipline concerned. Applicants belonging to families practising traditional arts my possibly get preference. For areas of acting/dancing, sense of rhythm, physical appearance and histrionic taste are the criteria for selection. For vocalists and percussionists, sense of rhythm, voice-culture and previous training are the most desirable qualities for selection. Students admitted to various courses have to join the A.H.S.L.C. (Art High School Leaving Certificate Course). The upper-age limit for admission is thirteen. Each student is allowed to choose only one art-discipline for intensive training. Together with theoretical and practical training in the performing art concerned he / she has to learn scholastic subjects in the school. Those who pass the three-year A.H.S.L.C. Course can join the Plus Two Course and then for the B.A. Degree in Performing Arts. Kalamandalam introduced High School education for its students in 1990. The new system harmonized academic-study and training in performing arts. Till then all the students who joined for regular courses were awarded Diploma and Post €“ Diploma. In the present setup, the Diploma Course is retained to enable talented aspirants undergo training in various art- subjects.
Selection to M.A. Degree Course in Kathakali, Koodiyattam and Mohiniyattam is strictly based on merit. Kalamandalam offers M.phil and PhD programs in various subjects. Details of the Course can be getting from our office.
Training in Performing Arts
Training in the different art-disciplines begins in the wee-hours of the morning, From 6.30 in the morning there is an interval for a few hours. At 9.A.M., the kalaries start again. The training goes on till noon. In the late afternoon, the classes begin at 2.P.M. In the kalaries where acting and dancing are taught one can watch practising of hand-gestures, eye-movements, facial- expressions, leg-exercises, torso-movements, character-enactment and so on. In the vocal- music kalari, teacher will initially give training to the student in the basic-lessons of classical Karnatic music. Later on students of Kathakali vocal have to learn the text of invocational items and then move on to the Plays. Lessons in percussion-music begin with the vaytharis (Syllables) and progress to €˜strokes ' and fingerings ' in different rhythmic-scales and tempos. In the ultimate stage of training, there is a well-coordinated performance of Kathakali or Koodiyattam( Without make-up and costumes ) which is technically called Cholliyaattam. In this segment, dance, drama and music (vocal and instrumental) of the art-form concerned are integrated in one kalari. The Kathakali make-up class is most intriguing. Here one can watch the students applying different facial make-ups on earthen pots conceiving them as human- faces. As the study progresses, the students gradually switch over from the class to the green-room.
Body-massage is a major segment in the training culture of Kathkali and Koodiyattam. There are pre-massage and post-massage exercises. The students smear oil on their face, body and limbs Afterwards they lie down on the floor of the kalari and the teachers massage their body and limbs with feet. The teachers then massage the faces of students using hands. Massage is an exercise Kathakali and Koodiyattam borrowed from the Martial Arts Tradition along with other aspects of physical training. This makes the body of the actors supple for flowing movements.
Academic Education And Practical Training
Kalamandalam has launched several schemes to re-strengthen the academic culture of the institution. The syllabi of the degree courses in different performing arts have been revised with the help of the newly reconstituted Board of Studies. The degree has been renamed B.A. instead of B.P.A. (Bachelor of Performing Art). In prescribing the syllabi, experts have formulated guidelines taking into account the concerns of both teachers an students.
The criteria for regular admission, mode of selection, reservation, fee-structure and procedures for private registration can be had from the prospectus published by Kalamandalam. To facilitate advanced study and research on the traditional performing arts of Kerala, Kalamandalam has commenced a regular integrated M.Phil / Ph.D programme as well as a part-time three year Ph.D programme. The areas broadly identified for research are classical theater, modern theater, dance, music and other fine arts. Practising artists, scholars and connoisseurs are eligible to register for research programmes as on norms. The University will provide competent guides for supervising research. Services of co-guides can also be availed of whenever necessary. Details regarding eligibility, admission procedures, evaluation, awarding of degrees and other essential rules and regulations related to these courses can be hand form the prospectus.
The practical training in performing arts which forms the quintessence of Kalamandalam as an illustrious center of learning is soon to receive a fresh impetus as the hours of training get increased in due course. Steps have been taken to ensure qualitative assessment of the training imparted to students so that they get lot of space and time for corrections and improvements. The racholliyattam (late evening Kalari) will soon be re-introduced as a regular feature of training. Stage-performances of promising students for gaining expertise will get prominence in the training schedules.
Library & Research
Scores of students from the different countries undergo condensed training in one or the other classical performing arts at Kalamandalam every year. Some of them combine applied- training and research. The ICCR offers scholarships to a few of them under International Cultural Exchange Program, With a collection of ten thousand books on theater, music, dance, Indian History, Aesthetics, Epics, Puranas and so on Kalamandalam library is distinguished in many respects. In the early 1960 's Dr. Jones and his wife Ms.Betty True Jones did a profound study of Koodiyattam and Mohiniyaattam respectively from their intimate association with this institution. The monumental book on Kathakali named Kathakali Complex by Dr. Philip Zarrilli is based on his research held at Kalamandalam in the 70 's. Similarly Dr. Rolf Groesbeck from the New York University did an indepth study of the drum-music heritage of Kerala. He was student of percussion-music at Kalamandalam and was guided in this research program by the senior teachers of the institution. Dr. Marlene Pitkow from the US is former student of Kathakali at Kalamandalam. Her thesis on the female representations in Kathakali owes immensely to the training at and performance-culture of Kalamandalam.