Krishnanattam

Krishnanattam

Krishnanattam or Krishnattam is a temple art, performed at Guruvayur Temple as a votive ritual offering by a troupe under the management of Guruvayur Devaswom (Guruvayur - 680 101, Thrissur Dt, Kerala, India). The performance is based on Krishnagiti, a text of sloka-s and padam-s in Sanskrit, composed by Manavedan, the Zamorin King of Calicut, in 1654. Krishna's life as described in detail in the tenth and eleventh cantos of Srimad Bhagavatam, Mahabharatam and Harivamsam is presented as song, dance and acting with musical accompaniments (chengila, ilattalam, shuddha maddalam, toppi maddalam, itakka) in a cycle of eight plays in eight days. The plays are Avataram, Kaliyamardanam, Rasakrida, Kamsavadham, Svayamvaram, Banayuddham, Vividavadham and Svargarohanam (akarakasvabavisva is the mnemonic to remember the names in order).

Krishnattam can be described as a refinement of Ashtapadiyattam. Krishnanattam or Krishnattam is a temple art. This was created as a votive offering and it survives in that capacity in Temples. The performance is based on Krishnagiti, a text of sloka-s and padam-s in Sanskrit, composed by Manavedan, (1595-1658AD), the Zamorin King of Calicut .This work deals with the Krishna avatar. It is presented in 8 episodes namely 'Avatharam', 'Kaliyamardhanam', 'Rasakreeda', 'Kamsavaddham', 'Swayamvaram', 'Banayuddham', 'Vividha vadham', and "Swargarohanam". The Krishnanattam is the only classical dance form in Kerala which makes use of colourful masks for evil characters. Kathakali owes much to Krishnanattam. It borrowed the make up and costumes from Krishnanattam. The chengila, ilattalam, shuddha maddalam, toppi maddalam, itakka and Shankh are used in Krishnanattam. The songs are rendered in the Sopana style.

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