Urubhangam in Kutiyattam, by Natanakairali

Ranga Shankara

Urubhangam in Kutiyattam, by Natanakairali

Theatre |

Ranga Shankara | Bangalore |

Jan 26 | 7:30 p.m.

Ends on: Jan 26

About Urubhangam in Kutiyattam, by Natanakairali

Ranga Shankara celebrates its 15th year of service to theatre this year.
To celebrate this milestone, Ranga Shankara will bring to its audiences one special theatrical experience every month.
We will bring a few rare shows to bring theatre of the finest quality that showcases a full range of theatre – across the globe and across forms within the country.
In January we will have a Kutiyattam performance – one of India’s oldest living theatrical traditions and the only one to use ancient Sanskrit plays.
Kutiyattam is practised in Kerala and rarely seen in Bangalore.
Urubhangam (The Broken Thighs) is by legendary playwright Bhasa, directed by celebrated Kutiyattam exponent G. Venu.
There will be a scene wise synopsis of the play for the audience.
About the Event

Ranga Shankara opens the new decade with a truly unique event in its ongoing year-long 15th year celebrations – Bhasa’s play Urubhangam in Kutiyattam by Natanakairali. There will be one show of this unique performance on Sun, 26 Jan ’20 at 7:30 PM. The show is directed by the celebrated Kutiyattam exponent G Venu. Tickets priced Rs. 300 are available at the Ranga Shankara Box Office and bookmyshow.com.


A visual and aural spectacle, a Kutiyattam performance has actors in exquisite costumes performing in the light of a large lamp that burns bright through out the performance. Extremely special rhythm instruments Mizhavu and Idakka accompany the actors. The best among Kutiyattam and Mizhavu exponents from Natanakairali are part of Urubhangam. Pothiyil Ranjith Chakyar (Balarama), Sooraj Nambiar (Duryodhana), Kapila Venu (Gandhari) and Ammannur Rajaneesh Chakyar (Ashwatthama) are in the cast. Kalamandalam Rajeev, Kalamandalam Hariharan and Kalamandalam Narayanan Nambiar will be in Mizhavu. Kalanilayam Unnikrishnan will play the Idakka and Kalanilayam Haridas is in charge of the elaborate make-up of the artistes.


“Written in 4th century AD, Urubhangam is clearly the first ever anti-war play of India. It is a true classic narrative that delineates the aftereffects of a war and simultaneously brings in the pains a human being undergoes personally. And Urubhangam in a rich and traditional classical form is a great coming together. G Venu is among the finest exponents of Kutiyattam and Natanakairali’s Urubhangam has won rich praise. It is a great pleasure to present it in our 15th year celebrations.”, says S Surendranath, the Artistic Director of Ranga Shankara.


Director G. Venu writes – “Among all the Bhasa plays, 'Urubhangam', has an eternal relevance cutting across centuries.  In 'Urubhangam', the hero is Duryodhana, usually regarded as the anti-hero, or the villain in all the traditional renderings of Mahabharata.  Not only that, the play maintains a unique objective perspective while approaching the great battle of Mahabharata that almost criticises the whole exercise of the war. In that way, this could even be described as a strong anti-war play.  However, hardly any documentary evidence except for some unconfirmed reports exists of the staging of Urubhangam as part of the repertoire of Kutiyattam in the olden days.  Neither the Kramadeepika nor the Attaprakaram for 'Urubhangam', were available from the tradition even to this day.  While doing homework to produce this one-act play on the stage of Kutiyattam we have read the text over and over, and many possibilities of performance started to emerge.  We, the team of Abhinaya Kalari of Natanakairali, prepared the Attapraprakaram by deciding to present the whole play through just four of the characters, namely Balarama, Duryodhana, Gandhari and Aswathama”