Yakutsk - the capital of Russia's Yakutia - will welcome Koodiyattam Theater from India in July. UNESCO recognized the theater a monument of world culture in 2001. Koodiyattam is the only theater of modern-day India. The roots of the theater go directly to ancient Sanskrit drama.
Indian artists will perform during the Second International Festival "Masterpieces of UNESCO on Olonkho Land," which will take place on July 10-16th, within the framework of the Fifth International Sports Games "Children of Asia."
Sanskrit drama nearly stopped its existence by 10-11th century AD. The genre appeared in the context of ritual nearly 2,500 years ago and evolved into a highly artistic form by 4-5th century.
The right to represent Koodiyattam belongs to representatives of two Brahma clans. However, this art can now be taught to anyone, including foreigners. Chakyar caste is the main one - they perform male roles. Female roles are performed by women of nambyar caste. They also sing, recite in Sanskrit and play small brass cembalos. The men from the same cast are responsible for the stage sets, costumes and makeup. Their primary function is to play large leather brass drums.
The repertoire of the theater consists of classic Sanskrit dramas. Thirteen of them were penned by playwright Bhasa, who lived in 3-4 centuries AD. They used to be staged in full. Nowadays, the theater plays only acts of it. One act is performed for several nights. It starts and ends with religious ceremonies, SakhaNews reports.