(Presenting Veerashrumghala to Ustad Zakir Hussain)

Saga of a Village: An Arts Story

Cultural Anthropology of Arts’ of a Unique Rural locale called ‘Peruvanam’

(Inauguration by Ustad Zakir Hussain)

Sunday, February19, 2017 at 6 p.m.
Venue:C.N.N. Boy’s High School, Cherpu, Trichur, Kerala.

In association with


Dear Art Lovers,

Keli is a cultural organization based in Mumbai, active in the field of preservation, development and propagation of the traditional art forms of Kerala. The year 2017 marks the silver jubilee of Keli. As part of the silver jubilee celebrations, Keli has undertaken a comprehensive study and documentation of the Peruvanam Village and its chequered history as a cradle of diverse cultural streams and artistic innovations. The internationally respected Tabla Vizard, Ustad Zakir Hussain will be visiting the Peruvanam village to inaugurate these celebrations. The cultural program titled Trukaalam will begin at 6 p.m. sharp at C.N.N. Boy’s High School auditorium on Sunday February 19, 2017. Keli’s Veerashrangala will then be presented to Ustad Zakir Hussain. Adocate V.S.Sunil Kumar (Minister of Agriculture), Shri C.N.Jayadevan (M.P), and Smt. Geeta Gopi (M.L.A), the well-known theatre activist Sanjana Kapoor, Dr. Rajan Gurukkal, distinguished anthropologic, Shri Bose Krishnamachari and Shri Riyas Komu, Founders of the Kochi Biennale Foundation, Shri Prashant Mangat (CEO, N.M.C. Hospital),Shri Pramod Mangat (CEO, UAE Exchange), Shri K.P.Nair (Deputy Managing Director, IDBI Bank), Shri M.D.Varghese (General Manager, Cochin Shipyard) and Shri Ajit Menon (Managing Director, Opel Asia), will be guests of honor. The Cultural program to follow will be lead by Ustad Zakir Hussain . All are cordially invited.

With Warm Regards

Padmashri Peruvanam Kuttan Marar

Ramachandran. K
Festival Director
Cell: +919820835737

KELI. 201, Baba Niwas, Plot No. 74,
Sector 19, Nerul, Navi Mumbai 400706

Programme Details

    • Invocatory performance on the Mizhavu by Shri. V.K.K.Hariharan.

    • Pandi Melam by Padmashri Peruvanam Kuttan Marar.

    • Dedication of the silver jubilee celebration to the memory of the late Kumarapuram Appu Marar, late Peruvanam Narayanan Nasmbissan,and the late Chathakudam Krishna Nambiar by Ustad Zakir Hussain by lighting the ceremonial lamp.

    • Felicitation:
      Presentation of Keli’s Veerashrugala to Ustad Zakir Hussain by Padmashree Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, Padmashri P.K. Narayanan Nambiar, Padmashri Mattannur Sankaran Kutty Marar, Shri Annamanada Parameswara Marar and Shri Trikkur Rajan.

      Presentation of Citation to Ustad Zakir Hussain by Adv. V.S.Sunilkumar, Minister of Agriculture.

      Presentation of Memento to Ustad Zakir Hussain by C.N.Jayuadevan, M.P.

      Presentation of Ponnada:
      Dr. Rajan Gurukkal by K.Subhaschandran, Artistic Director Keli.
      Mrs. Zakir Hussain by Smt. Geeta Gopi, M.L.A.
      Sanjana Kapoor by Peruvanam Kuttan Marar.

    • Speech by Ustad Zakir Hussain

    • Benediction by Sanjana Kapoor.

    • Tabala Solo
      by Ustad Zakir Hussain
      Sarangi: Shri Dilshad Khan

    • Laya Vinyasam
      Tabla: Ustad Zakir Hussain
      Chenda: Padmashri Mattannur Sankarankutty Marar

    • ‘’The drum has been a part of human social growth for thousands of years. We march to it; we send messages through the drum; we meditate with the drum; we sing praises of God using the drum and we tell stories through the sounds of the drums. All these elements are utilized fully in the drumming traditions of Kerala. I think that this is the only tradition which relies totally on the two most natural modes of musical expression. ’’Drumming and Singing’’.- Zakir Hussain

      About Project:

      Saga of a Village: An Arts Story

      During our activities of the past we came across an exclusive artistic locale namely Peruvanam, which has a very ancient artistic tradition and very modern art practices . It has a very ancient village festival with an aural rhythm art tradition of 1435 years of history and a contemporary film and theatre culture which has been recognized nationally and internationally. Between these two extremes of the ancient and the new, the village embeds a variety of art forms folk, classical and a multitude of literature both in the ancient and contemporary art traditions. Its multiple ethnicity and their contemporary interpretation is an ideal anthropological topic to explore the cultural and artistic expressions of a tradition.

      Peruvanam is a small cultural village in Thrissur, Kerala. This village has a significant place in the cultural map of Kerala for its anthropological relevance of an art history unique to the world. It is the land of an exclusive aural rhythm art tradition called Melam, its traditional performing spaces and Festivals which preserved this art for over thousand years. The World’s most ancient Sanskrit theatre tradition Koodiyattam has a very old performance history pertaining to this village. The village has strong indigenous culture and varied ethnic structure. It diversifies into sculpture, literature, traditional music and visual arts. While exploring the contemporary art history of the locale, it excels for the activities in the progressive media of expression like Cinema, Theatre, visual arts and literature.

      The performing art entity like performers, audience and the space is very active in this village. The active festival season brings out the best performers and spectacular performances. But what the village lacks is an insight into the history of their art tradition, its vanishing areas, awareness about the lack of archives and the need of the hour. This is not an intentional neglect or lack of interest but it is a stagnation in the thought process derived from the habituated art practices experiencing among the performers and common audience community quite for a long time. A slight catalytic intervention in this area can change this attitude of the art community and can improve the situation leading to a major change. Keli’ s focus is to engage this space and frame an effective methodology to execute a specific art plan which will address the present situation.

      An overall academic interest should be created in different levels of the community. The children’s community should be made aware about the genealogy and legacy of Peruvanam in art . Seniors should be made aware about the declining traditions and vanishing areas of art and they should design specific plans to preserve and create new spaces for these declining performances and art practices . Exchange of experiences of different art practices and patterns among the performers is also needed in this context.

      The village has its proud presence in the contemporary film scenario also . The director of the national award winning movie ‘Pulijanmam’ is from this village. The theatre activities are very active in this locale. The theatre practitioners of the historical theatre movement ’’ roots’’ are still doing serious theatre productions and associated activities in this village. One of their new productions had visited the recent NSD festival. A few books on theatre have been written by the theatre practitioners of this village. The collective work in this area is not properly documented which can be materialized as a part of this project. The village has a proud history of literature. It continues through new writers and literary movements. Activities to contemplate the history of literature of this locale is a part of this project.


      This is for the first time the multitude of the art history of a village is getting documented through the community awareness exercise process. This will be a very valuable asset and reference material for the researchers, students and those who are following the traditions and art practices seriously. The Art traditions of the Peruvanam is over 1435 years old. This project will motivate other art activists to trace such ancient traditions to translate myths into reality.

      Melam (Peruvanam Kuttan Marar)

      Nangiarkoothu (Usha Nangiar)

      Riyas Komu-Contemporary Sculptor, Painter

      Sasidharan Naduvil Theatre activist who has trained over 3500 actors

      Team Leaders

      Rajan Gurukkal: Group Head of subject experts and Chief Consultant

      Rajan Gurukkal is a leading Indian anthropologist, social scientist, historian, professor and writer, former vice chancellor of M.G. University, Kottayam. He has written many books and articles on different topics.

      Sadanand Menon: Head of Seminars/ Symposia

      Sadanand Menon is an Indian arts editor, cultural journalism teacher, photographer, and stage lights designer. He is also a speaker at seminars on politics, ecology and arts. He is a teacher at Asian College of Journalism, and IIT Madras . Asian college of journalism was founded in 1994 by the Indian Express group and is now comes under the aegis of the Media Development Foundation, headed by chairman Sashi Kumar.

      Subhas Chandran : Artistic Director of Keli.

      Scholar, Art administrator, writer and formerly with N.C.P.A as the programme director for 32 years. He was the secretary to Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

      Padmashree Peruvanam Kuttan Marar: Subject Expert

      Leading percussionist of the village who has been awarded by Padmashree and the leader of major traditional percussion ensembles of Kerala for the past 35 years and a performer for the past 50 years.

      Usha Nangiar: Subject Expert

      Scholar, writer, Teacher and performer of Nangiarkoothu a 1200 year old women’s Sanskrit Theatre tradition and an activists whose chief intervention is in the engendering areas of the art form. Author of the book Abhinethri, higlighting the role of women in Koodiyaattam.

      Ramachnadran: Project Co-ordinator and festival Director of Keli.

      Documentary film maker, curator, art administrator founder member of Keli and an art activist for the past 35 years.

      Methodology of work

      • Exploring the art and cultural tradition of Peruvanam.

      • Showcasing the strength and quality of performances of the village through festivals.

      • Creating contents to generate and archive history.

      • Debating with the folklores to redefine history.

      • Outreaching the students, researchers and audience world wide.

      • Interventions to present and conserve and traditional art forms through the curated festivals keeping their authenticity in tact.

      Phase 1 at Mumbai(2016-17)

      Completed Successfully.
      Show casing the art performances of Peruvanam in Mumbai in 4 phases from 16 Nov -22 Jan.

      Phase 2 at Peruvanam (2017-18)

      This will be inaugurated by Ustad Zakir Hussain on 19 Feb at C.N.N. High School at Peruvanam.

      Phase 2,3,4,5

      Generating Content
      This includes
      • Oral History archiving

      • Books on art forms and artists

      • Documentary films on arts and artists

      • Curated Festivals

      Supported by:   

      Outdoor Publicity Partner: