Training and Education of Mani Damodara Chakyar
Mani Damodara Chakyar, born in the year 1946 in Kozhikode, Kerala, studied Chakyar Koothu and Koodiyattam in the traditional way for over three decades under the direct guidance of Mani Madhava Chakyar. He has studied Sanskrit and Natyashastra too in the traditional way. He holds a Master's degree in Sanskrit Literature as well.
Performances of Mani Damodara Chakyar
Mani Damodara Chakyar was a member of legendary performance artist Guru Mani Madhava Chakyar's Koodiyattam troupe, which performed Koodiyattam outside the temple theatres of Kerala for the first time. In the performance of ‘Thoranayudham Koodiyattam’ in 1962 in Madras, he played the role of Vibhishana with his guru Mani Madhava Chakyar as Ravana. He is an exponent of traditional devotional Koothus and Koodiyattams, such as ‘Anguliyanka’, ‘Mattavilasa Prahasana’, ‘Mantranka’ and ‘Ezhamanka’ (seventh act of ‘Ascharyachoodamani’).
Mani Damodara Chakyar has been performing a huge number of ‘Atiyantara’ Koothus of the Mani family that have been assigned to them from the ancient times, consisting of all these devotional ritualistic Koothus and Koodiyattams, in the famous temples of Kerala for decades. These famous temple theatres, known as Koothambalams, include Karivellur Shiva Temple in Kannur district, Rajarajeshwara Temple in Taliparamba, Perumal Temple in Kottiyoor, Thiruvangad Sree Ramaswami Temple in Thalassery, Cherukunnu Chiraykkal Bhagavathi Temple in Kannur district, Lokanarkavu Temple in Vatakara, Thiruvachhira Sree Krishna Temple in Kozhikode district, Pandamangalam Krishna Temple in Kottakkal, Kotakkal Vishwambhara (Shiva) Temple in Malappuram district, Killikkurussi Mahadeva Temple in Palakkad district, Sri Rama Temple in Tripayar and Peruvanam Shiva temple in Cherpu in Thrissur district.
Outside Kerala, he performed Koodiyattams in Mani Madhava Chakyar's troupe in places such as New Delhi, Varanasi, Mumbai, Ujjain, Bhopal and Madras. He also had the honour to perform in many important conferences and seminars, such as the World Sanskrit Conferences at Banaras, Bangalore and Thrissur.
He has performed both as the ‘Nayaka’ (hero) and ‘Vidushaka’ (court jester) in Kutiyattams such as ‘Swapnavasavadattam’, ‘Naganandam’ and ‘Subhadradhananjayam’. When Mani Madhava Chakyar choreographed and directed Kalidasa's ‘Malavikagnimitra’ and ‘Vikramorvasiya’ for the first time in the history of Kutiyattam, it was Mani Damodara Chakyar to whom he gave the role of the Nayaka. Mani Damodara Chakyar staged ‘Malavikagnimitra’ and ‘Vikramorvasiya’ at Kalidasa Academy in Ujjain, under the guidance of his guru.
Mani Damodara Chakyar also used to be high school Sanskrit teacher in Kozhikode, Kerala.
Awards and Honours received by Mani Damodara Chakyar
Mani Damodara Chakyar was the first Koodiyattam student who received scholarship from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), New Delhi. Later, both junior and senior fellowships where conferred to him by MHRD. He is the recipient of many recognitions from temples and cultural organisations. The Kerala Sangeet Natak Akademi honoured him for his contributions to Chakyar Koothu and Koodiyattam, in the year 2000. He received the Kerala Kalamandalam V. S. Sharma Endowment Award for 2007.
Forms of Indian Theatre
Folk Theatre of Kerala
Classical Indian Dance Drama
Indian Classical Dance
Koodiyattam, Folk Theatre of Kerala
Guru Mani Madhava Chakyar
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