Tuesday, July 16, 2024


Dance - Drama

Harikatha Kalakshepam

This is the art of extempore story telling for three to four hours. It is introduced into Tamil Nadu from Maharashtra by the Mahratta rulers of Thanjavur. The exponent of this art commands a stage and audience by his knowledge of many languages, by his scholarships in the epics and by handling of Chappalakkattai (a pair of wooden planks) in one hand controlling the movement and tempo.

The themes are drawn from the epics Meenakshi Kalyanam, Sita Kalyanam and Rukmini Kalyanam are popular subjects. The dialogue is forcefully mono-acted in a modulated voice to give the effect of light and shade. The words and music roll as Krishna's chariot wheels at a terrific speed in a high lilting rhythm to carry Rukmini away. In this act music plays a very important role and unless it is carefully fitted and woven into the very texture of the story the artist cannot produce the desired effect. His success depends on the varied knowledge of a wide range of subjects and the ability to create the necessary impact on the audience through music gestures a sonorous voice, a mellifluous tongue, a deep study of religious texts and folklore, a packing of interesting bits of latest information into legends and a vast commands on words.