While some of the Koodiyattam techniques have come down to us in the written form through ‘Krama Deepika' and ‘Attaprakaram', a lot of it has also been transmitted orally. Much of the oral tradition could have been lost.
A 2000 year old art form and still going strong- That is Koodiyattom … Literally meaning, ‘Dancing Together,’ and officially recognised by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, ‘Koodiyattam,’ or ‘Kutiyattam,’ is a form of Sanskrit theatre, traditionally performed in the state of Kerala.
Koodiyattam is an ‘apoorva vidya’ – a rare and special stream of knowledge... [We have] a different training system in Koodiyattam as compared to other Indian classical dances.
For a Sanskrit student to observe a Koodiyattam performance of one of the great Sanskrit plays is a profound, even life-changing experience.
Eyes play a very central role in the abhinaya in Koodiyattam. The eye training is very laborious and so is the process of putting on the eye make-up before the performance. We also use chundapoo , the ovary of a special flower, to put into the eye before the performance in order to make them bloodshot and strong.
...Koodiyattam, Kerala's traditional Sanskrit theatre, has been proclaimed part of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.