Kutiyattam is the only living tradition of ancient Indian theatre. It is the earliest known form of enacting Sanskrit Drama. The mode of acting claims the pride of 2000 years. This is preserved by the Kerala actors known as chakyars, nangyars and nambiars. UNESCO has proclaimed Kutiyattam as "the masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity".
There are five institutions in Kerala working in this field.
- Kerala Kalamdalam, Cheruturuthi, Trissur
- Ammannur Chachu Chakyar Smarak Gurukulum, Irinjalakkuda, Trissur
- Margi, Valiyasala, Tiruvanathapuram
- Manimadhava Chakyar Gurukulum, Killikkurissimangalam, Palakad
- International Centre for Kutiyattam, Tripunithura
- Nepathya, Moozhikulam
- Krishan Nampyar Mizhavu Kalari,Trissur
Aesthetics of Kutiyaattam
K. G. Paulose
Kutiyaattam, which U N E S C O proclaimed as the intangible heritage of humanity, preserves the unique characteristics of traditional theatre of Kerala. It is, perhaps, the lone surviving vestige of the ancient Indian theatrical experiments.