The ancient art form of Therukoothu still thriving in Tamilnadu, India is easily the world’s most colourful, energetic, innovative, creative and socially interactive theatre.
Immensely popular in rural Tamilnadu, the Theru (street) Koothu (dance drama) adheres strictly to the ancient dramaturgy treatise of Bharata Muni, the Natya Sastra.
The influence of Natya Sastra can be traced to the theatre forms of Southeast Asian countries and many other parts of Asia and worldwide.
Therukoothu is based on India’s ancient historical epics like the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Puranas.
In transmitting the invaluable knowledge of these epics to the public, Therukoothu plays a crucial role in keeping alive the rich heritage of India.
I had the chance to witness a musical in a London theatre a few years ago.
A high tech stage was used to enhance the musical drama based on a contemporary novel.
And I can tell you I found the Therukoothu performed without even the use of loud speakers far more entertaining and educational than the London musical.
In the same light I feel cinema with all its special effects is merely a pale shadow of Therukoothu.
Not to mention that audiences are stupefied not enlightened by cinema.
I am thankful to Makkal TV for its regular broadcasts of Therukoothu performances.
Although I am sure nothing beats watching this timeless entainment life.
More than 30 years ago when I was experimenting on Therukoothu style drama in 2 1/2 miles Cheras Road DBKL quarters in Kuala Lumpur I had nothing to refer to.
There was no Makkal TV then or Google and Internet.