Training of Moozhikulam Kochukuttan Chakyar
Born in the year 1928 into the Ammannur Chakyar family, at Ammannur, a small hamlet near Irinjalakuda in the Thrissur district of Kerala, Moozhikulam Kochukuttan Chakyar had his early training in Koodiyattam from within his family. He was also trained under Kidangoor Narayana Chakyar, Painkulam Rama Chakyar, Irinjalakkuda Madhava Chakyar and the legendary Mani Madhava Chakyar. He learnt Sanskrit from Kallankara Narayana Pisharody and Kodasseri Kochunni Kartha.
Career of Moozhikulam Kochukuttan Chakyar
Moozhikulam Kochukuttan Chakyar specialised in the roles of the Vidushaka in Koodiyaattam and oral rendering of Prabhandha Koothu (Purushaarthhams). He has made significant contributions to the art of Koodiyattam as a teacher and a performer. Padma Bhushan Ammannur Madhava Chakyar, a renowned Koodiyattam master artist, was his cousin and the two, later, would evolve a new school of performance, popularly known as the Ammannur tradition of Koodiyattam. Kochukuttan Chakyar has mastered not just the Ammannur tradition, but also those of Perinchallur, Cheria Parisha and Koyappa. He has acted for several temples, culminating in the Ramayana Prabandha Koothu, a play on the Ramayana epic extending over 41 consecutive days, at the Kutalmanikkam temple in Irinjalakuda, Thrissur district.
Kochukuttan Chakyar joined Margi, an institution in Thiruvananthapuram promoting traditional art forms of Kerala, in 1981 when their Koodiyattam training centre was started. He was the first residential guru who trained promising and aspiring performers of Koodiyaattam such as his son Margi Madhu, Margi Raman and Margi Sathi.
In 1998, Chakyar joined Nepathya, a centre for excellence in Koodiyattam, as the Mukhya Acharya (Head Teacher), and continued his association with the institution till his last.
Recognitions received by Moozhikulam Kochukuttan Chakyar
Moozhikulam Kochukuttan Chakyar was honoured with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour, by the Government of India in 2008, for his contributions in the domain of Arts. He has also been a recipient of the Kerala Kalamandalam Award, Natyanikasha Puraskaram, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award, among other accolades.
Death and Remembrance of Moozhikulam Kochukuttan Chakyar
Moozhikulam Kochukuttan Chakyar passed away in 2009, at the age of 81. He is remembered by an annual festival, Guru Moozhikkulam Kochukuttan Chakyar Memorial Kutiyttam Festival, held at Moozhikkulam, a suburb in Kochi wherein Nepathya is headquartered, as well as through orations organised by Nepathya.
Forms of Indian Theatre
Folk Theatre of Kerala
Classical Indian Dance Drama
Koodiyattam, Folk Theatre of Kerala
Sangeet Natak Akademi
Guru Ammannur Madhava Chakyar
Guru Painkulam Rama Chakyar
Mani Madhava Chakyar