Kadhaprasangam

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Kadhaprasangam, (story telling performance) is a performing art of Kerala, India. It combines speaking, acting, and singing to present a story. There are no costumes, make-up, or settings. The main artist, Kaadhikan tells the story, act, and sings before the audience with two or three accompanying artists in the background playing the orchestra.[1] It typically is one-and-a-half to two hours long. It originated from an earlier art form Harikadhakalakshepam which used similar techniques but differed in theme and style. While Harikadhakalakshepam was based on themes from puranas and epics, Kadhaprasangam received themes from sources largely classical and popular literature. The scripts can be original works written for the performance or adaptations of stories from epics, classical, or modern literature. William Shakespeare's Othello, Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, Kumaran Asan's Karuna, Vallathol Narayana Menon’s Magdalana Mariyam, Changampuzha Krishna Pillai's Ramanan, Thirunalloor Karunakaran's Rani and Vayalar Ramavarma's Aaayisha were some of the literary classics thus successfully adapted for Kadhaprasangam.

Kadhaprasangam's heyday was in the second half of 20th century, attracting crowds on temple grounds in the festival season. This was brought out of the temple grounds and founded as a popular presentation viz. 'KADHAPRASANGAM'by Swami Sathyadevan. The Govt of India honoured Swami Sathyadevan with pension awarded to founders of art forms while the Swami was in Banaras in the year 1961. Its chief and later exponents were Swami Brahmavruthan, M. P. Manmadhan, K. K. Vadhyar, P. C. Abraham, Kedamangalam Sadanandan, Joseph Kaimaparamban, V. Sambasivan, Kollam Babu, V. Harsha Kumar, Kallada V. V. Kutty,Paravur Sukumaran, V. D. Rajappan, Vatakara V Asokan and others. They contributed to the development of social and educational renaissance in Kerala history.[citation needed]

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