(Last Updated on : 25/07/2009)
The literal meaning of vilasam is, pleasure. It is a Tamil theatre form. It came into vogue in the nineteenth century. The Maratha rulers of Thanjavur used to invite Parsi theatre
companies to perform at their court. Folk Terukkuttu
and Parsi theatre combined to give birth to Vilasam in the tradition of Carnatic music
, just as Kirttanai
grew out of Telugu influences. Soon it also became a literary genre. Not all the scripts were written with intention of staging. Dictionaries define the connotations of vilasam as 'dance and play', and as a suffix it is used interchangeably for dramatic literature and performance. For example, Markandeya natakam i.e. 'Markandeyas Drama' is also titled as Markandeya vilasam. In Sri Lanka, Vilasam texts are found to be close to Terukkuttu texts.
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