Keli - Koodiyattam

KELI is a cultural organisation based in Mumbai. Since 1992, the organisation has worked tirelessly to preserve India’s deep and diverse...

Arts Encounter at DPS Ludhiana

India has a long unbroken history of the arts, with each region of the country throwing up a phenomenal diversity of arts expressions and practices. So much of who we are is in our arts and culture.


Junoon's Arts Encounters bring performing arts from across India to your doorstep, so that students may experience and revel in the rich culture we have.


Each Arts Encounter is a performance-interaction opening the doors to a unique performance form. Students and teachers get to know the heartbeat of a form, its essential structures, its specific guidelines for creativity, and its space for improvisation and play. They are also introduced to the cultures, histories and geographies that the forms arise from. And finally, they are treated to powerful performances by the professional artists, so that they may experience the magic and attraction of each form.


We are delighted to be bringing Junoon’s Arts Encounters to the middle school students of Delhi Public School, Ludhiana on the 11th of February 2020.



Koodiyattam is a traditional form of theatre that originated in Kerala approximately 2,000 years ago. It’s not only the oldest surviving form of ancient Sanskrit drama in India, but it is also arguably the oldest form of drama in the world still being performed to this day. Koodiyattam is so ancient, its true origins are still unknown to us. In performance, it is a combination of dance and drama, and even today it is performed as an act of worship, attended by the local community and the god of the temple. In fact, until the 1950s, Koodiyattam was performed only in temples. According to tradition, Koodiyattam was performed by Chakyar men and Nangyaramma women, two very specific castes in Kerala. On stage a ‘Chakyar’ is a sort of orator ( vidushaka) while criticising social evilsand an actor while enacting characters in the drama and ‘Nangyaramma’, women of the Nambiar caste, are traditionally temple performers and handle female roles . The performance includes live drumming, dialogues and chanting of slokas ,performed by trained musicians. Stories are from mythology in an ancient language, elaborate costumes, intricate make-up, and the performance itself can last from anywhere between twelve and 130 hours!

KELI is a cultural organisation based in Mumbai. Since 1992, the organisation has worked tirelessly to preserve India’s deep and diverse classical heritage—particularly in dance and music. Many of these forms are on the verge of extinction, and KELI (which means ‘fun’ in Malayalam) works to revitalise and develop these art forms even further, and share them with audiences far and wide.

Venues Dates Time
10-15 yrs