International Theatre festivals of Kerala, is held every year in the state where various people participate. Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi
founded on 26 April 1958, under the Department of Culture, nourishes and encourages various forms of dance, music, theatre and folk arts of Kerala. Apart from this basic aim, the Akademi undertakes the documentation and preservation of art forms that are rare, historically important and under the threat of extinction. It is by joining hands with other similar bodies like the Sangeeth Natak Akademi, New Delhi granting affiliation to organizations, instituting awards and fellowships for outstanding artistes, and conducting seminars and workshops that the Akademi realizes its goals. Since 2008, Akademi organizes International Theatre Festival of Kerala (ITFoK), which has grown as one of the major theatre festivals of the country.
International Theatre Festival of Kerala (ITFoK)
The history of theatre in Kerala is very rich and envious. Some of its classical, traditional and folk performance forms like Koodiyattam
, Mudiyettu, Kathakali
, Theyyam, Padeni, Chavittunatakam, Kolkkali, Kalarippayattu etc., have been in the spotlight of world theatre. Theatre has played a key role in the reforms and uplifting of society as well.
Many of the social reformers of the state were rooted in the theatre movements of their times. In order to achieve effective interaction and bilateral cultural exchange between contemporary theatre fraternities worldwide, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi and the Cultural Department of Kerala thought of a theatre festival of international repute and standards. Thus the International Theatre Festival of Kerala (ITFoK) was launched in 2008. The ITFoK showcases most innovative and experimental contemporary plays from abroad and our country as well. A bold attempt, probably ITFoK is the first venture of its kind to be undertaken by any state Akademi in the country. Experience ITFoK!
The ITFoK not only focus on showcasing contemporary theatre, but provides a platform for other folk and traditional theatre forms of Kerala and other parts of the country, for the advantage of the visiting groups from abroad in particular. The groups/artists are put into active and creative interactions each other, which lead to certain level of share and exchange of experience and a fair knowledge of these forms. Seminars, workshops and exposition sessions by eminent theatre practitioners and academicians, exhibitions, screening of films etc are the vital components of the festival. The interactive sessions for theatre practitioners, with visiting directors on their play making process, design methods, and actors` training systems provide deep insight and understanding of their theatre. Curetted with an understanding of various performance streams and practices with a broader perspective on cultural history of the land, ITFoK has carved a niche in theatre festivals of the country. ITFoK provides a true interactive space occupied by a variety of spectators from various walks of life and culture, thus inspiring creative and meaningful artistic interaction.