Ottan Thullal (Garuda Garva Bhangam)
The DVD on Ottan Thullal from Invis Multimedia has Kalamandalam Geethanandan performing
Garuda Garva Bhangam or the vanquishing of Garuda’s arrogance. As per the Hindu mythology,
Garuda is a huge eagle and the vehicle of Lord Vishnu.
Ottan Thullal owes its genesis to Kunchan Nambair, who is well known for his satirical
verses. This 400-year-old performing art form of Kerala is a solo dance with themes taken
from the puranas (mythologies) and the performer skilfully links them to aspects of modern
day life, often taking a dig at the shortcomings of the society. In Ottan Thullal, the
performer sings and dances to the accompanying music rendered by cymbals and drum. The
performer also has the freedom to devise and combine humour and satire while performing.
Ottan Thullal’s mass appeal is further accentuated by the fact that its narration is in
simple Malayalam, unlike Sanskrit, which is the norm for other classical dance forms. And so
is its costume and style of singing, making Ottan Thullal dearer to the public.
Kalamandalam Geethanandan is an ardent practitioner of Ottan Thullal and a master performer
par excellence. His performance diligently portrays the vibrant charm of Ottan Thullal. He
is also a senior faculty member of Kerala Kalamandalam at Thrissur, the cultural capital of
Kerala, which is a premier centre for performing arts in Kerala.
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