Inaugural ceremony of MAUK's ‘Theyyam' drama project to promote Kerala traditional and ritual art forms in UK held

Inaugural ceremony of MAUK's ‘Theyyam' drama project to promote Kerala traditional and ritual art forms in UK held

By Jasline Antony LONDON Feb 1: The inaugural ceremony of ‘Theyyam,’ M.A.U.K’s latest ambitious project to promote access to traditional and ritual art forms of Kerala, was held on Saturday evening, 28th January 2023, at Kerala House, London. M.A.U.K’s Theyyam 2023 project comprises two parts - a drama production with talented UK. artists and technicians exploring the origins of two Theyyam folklore Muchilot Bhagavathi and Maruthiyodan Kurickal. Coinciding the drama will be a nationwide tour of Theyyam and other Dravidian traditional art forms by visiting artists. M.A.U.K secretary and host of the evening, Sreejith Sreedharan, formally welcomed the guests and dignitaries. Anilkumar Edavana, M.A.U.K chairperson, addressed the audience and reiterated M.A.U.K’s commitment to promoting the traditional and ritual arts of Kerala in the UK. This was followed by Member of Parliament for East Ham, Sir Stephen Timms, conducting the inauguration by lighting the traditional lamp. The backdrop was a striking display of a flamboyant Theyyam costume and truly majestic headgear, setting the scene and filling the atmosphere with awe and wonder. Sir Timms spoke about M.A.U.K’s outstanding contribution to the local society and praised its innovative vision and passionate delivery of services in the arts, culture and poverty reduction. Professor M.N.Karassery, the special guest at the event, congratulated M.A.U.K for its endeavours in promoting Kerala arts. Both Prof. Karassery and Sir Timms reflected on the contribution of Professor Ronald E. Asher (23 July 1926 – 26 December 2022) to the Dravidian language and culture. In tune with the age-old drama tradition, copies of the drama script written by the renowned Shri Rajan Kizhakkanela were presented to the Director Sasi S Kulamada by M.A.U.K Vice Chairperson, R Sambasivan and to the Production Manager Sreevalsalan Pillai by Joint Secretary Sreekumar Kunjuraman. Baiju Gopinathan of Sreenaraya Guru Mission, Saji Lohidakshan of K.C.W.A, Croydon, Councillors Manju Shahul Ahmed, Areti Uday Aarien, Adv. Dileep Kumar, Loka Kerala Sabha representative, Manampoor Suresh of Kaumudi Europe Online, K Narayanan and Vijayakumar of Croydon Drama Theatres, Jolly Fernandas of Alakal UK, Manoj Marthandan of Nishagandhi Events, Jitu Shah of Shah Accountancy and Regulesh Vattaprampil of Global Study Link addressed the audience and offered their support. Ex-officials of M.A.U.K. and artists of Drishyakala (M.A.UK.’s drama troupe) also spoke fondly about their past experiences and excitement at the new project. Unmesh Desai, City & East London Representative at the London Assembly, Shreeranjani Kanagavel, High Commission of India, London and Reji Nekkatt of Kerala Sahithyavedi conveyed their wishes and support electronically. Following the inaugural ceremony, Kappa TV fame Gokul Raj treated the audience to an intimate yet elevating musical experience with his deep, silken tones and soulful performance. Anju Thankachan aptly supported Gokul with her equally magnificent performances. Merin Tommy staged an ethereal semi-classical dance performance and gave it her all to charm the audience with her elegance. Without a doubt, the highlight of the evening’s cultural performances was MAUK’s Chenda Team's spectacular Melam, which enthralled connoisseurs with brilliance and sophistication. Experienced and skilful artists Ajith Krishnan, Akhil Kumar A, Sreehari Narayanan and Vaishak Vijayan (all new joiners to the team) created an epic atmosphere that made the audience ecstatic. Beginning at slow speed, picking up pace and ultimately reaching a frenetic crescendo at the end, the performance was dynamite and blistering! The audience watched the four young, versatile and multifaceted drummers in awe and astonishment. It was just a glimpse of what’s to come as U.K. audiences await a spectacular never-seen-before cultural feast in Autumn 2023. The M.A.U.K team are buzzing with trademark determination and passion for preserving and celebrating Kerala art forms and bringing you phenomenal, top-class entertainment that will be a feast for your senses! Theyyam will begin its U.K. tour in November 2023. Those wishing to book performances, please contact 07960212334 |07941024129


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