Koothu is a remarkable art. Not only its origin dates back to more than two thousand years, but it stands as a symbol of our unique tradition. In the prevailing trend of commercialized entertainment, the once celebrated art forms like koothu(performing arts), Paavai koothu and bommalaatam have been left in despair.
“The Kalari Tholkalaigal and Kalaingargal Membattu mayyam” ( KALARI HERITAGE AND CHARI TABLE TRUST )which strives for the aforementioned activities for over 15 years is now set forth to start a training school for koothu, paavai koothu and bommalaatam in the Yervadi Village of Salem District.
Koothu is a remarkable art. Not only its origin dates back to more than two thousand years, but it stands as a symbol of our unique tradition. It can rightly be said as the valuable gift from our land to us. In the prevailing trend of commercialized entertainment, the once celebrated art forms like koothu(performing arts), Paavai koothu and bommalaatam have been left in despair. Nevertheless, the mother of fine arts still holds herself alive deeply engraved in these art forms.
We must realize that it is only our ancient culture that can bring us an empathy towards fellow creatures, give us courage to fight back dominance and raise voice against suppression. Further, for a daily wage laborer, the joy of getting involved unconsciously and involuntarily can never be derived from any other pompous literary arts. For this reason, performing artists who live in the edge of society and succumbed to poverty, have joined hands to rejuvenate the endangered art with all their physical, monetary and heartfelt contribution.
It is our duty to appreciate our brothers, give them recognition among the society that is clad with spiteful politics and also raise their standard of living. By improving the artists’ life we can be sure that our very own ancient arts are revived and that the future generations are handed over with heritage that is uncompromising and unaffected.
Roof maker and koothu artist, ganesan alternates between these two identities. Initiated and trained by his dad into koothu, the initial practices in acts such as soorasamharam, bull fight( madupidi chandai), stepmother squabbles( matrandhai kodumai) etc slowly graduated and progressed to transforming musical plays such as dhamayanti kalyanam, arichandra mayana kandam, sathiyavan, savithri into complex koothu acts.
His experiments continue till date. His concern that artists should have no financial and mental troubles has been important in keeping his group members consistently creative and happy.
He also takes a keen interest in stage decoration and insists that koothu should synchronise well with its music which he regards as its lifeline.
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Chettipatti chinnaalu ‘ as he is called, draws in huge numbers of enamoured spectators, especially women, whenever he performs .
Sincere and dedicated to his art, koolipatti subramani enacts themes and acts that are unusual and rarely adapted by his peers. Such as yayathi kalyanam, varunamala thavasu, kovilan sarithiram.
Raju has many more identities and skills other than and beyond being a koothu artiste. Today, most people who don the role of a woman have raju as their role model.