Book review / A Handbook of Kathakali

Menon, Vishnu Achutha. Review of Kathakaliyude Kaipusthakam (A Handbook of Kathakali), by Vellinezhi Achuthankutty. Asian Theatre Journal 37, no. 2 (2020): 602-03. Project MUSE.
Excerpt: By the fall of the feudal system in Kerala in the first quarter of the last century, Kathakali slowly started losing its patronage throughout. Small groups started evolving, centred on maestros of art who had social and financial influence.
This slowly paved the path towards institutionalization, wherein small troupes were adopted by societies formed by influential organizers and connoisseurs. As a result of institutionalization, the authority of classical arts became vested with those who were easily influenced by commodification and mass culture.
Besides the history of the art of six centuries, as well as its present existence under institutionalization, Achuthankutty elaborates the aforementioned points objectively with evidence gained by interviewing masters and collecting literature.

Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup

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