Karnatic- Kattaikkuttu is a collaboration involving international Karnatic singer T.M. Krishna and Sangeetha Sivakumar, along with veteran kattaikkuttu actor P. Rajagopal and scholar Dr. Hanne du Bruin. The collaboration brings together in a musical conversation two Indian traditions coming out of two markedly different constructs. In this case caste with Karnatic coming out of the Brahmin tradition and being performed by and for Brahmins, and kattaikkuttu being performed by actors from the lowest castes and performed in village streets. The first iteration of the piece occurred in Mumbai, at St Andrews Auditorium, Bandra W., Mumbai in Dec 2017
“We must remember that Kattaikkuttu is theatrical and music therefore has to become part of Kattaikkuttu theatre,” said Krishna about the rehearsal process, adding, “Karnatic music in this experiment becomes Kattaikuttu music (ideationally). It was fascinating to realize that there have been musical exchanges between Karnatic and Kuttu, possibly through the devadasi tradition. This has been lost, and maybe this collaboration is the beginning of a rediscovery. This is a conversation where each art listens to the other. This means that there are places where we will disagree (aesthetically) and at those junctures Kattaikkuttu takes precedence. The creative process was of learning and finding places where each form can flow into the other.” From The Hindu 14th Dec 2017
The performances include excerpts from two all-night plays, Disrobing of Draupadi and The Eighteenth Day, musical interpretations of Sanskrit scripts and a section of dialogue where karnatic tradition is compared and contrasted with the kattaikkuttu tradition
The tour started in August followed by 5 performances in December 2018 – February 2019
Goa Serendipity Festival 20th December 2018
Kochi Biennial, Fort Kochi 13th January 2019
Ranga Shankira, Bangalore 18th January 2019
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) (Prince of Wales Museum),Mumbai 19th January 2019
Kalakshetra, Chennai 3rd February 2019
P. Rajagopal, Hanne de. Bruin, M. Duraisamy, S. Gopinath, S. Tamilarasi, R. Balaji,
A. Selvarasu, P. Sasikumar, S. Srimathy, Sri. Haribabu, A. Bharathi, S. Ekaputhiran, B. Mageshwaran, A. Kailasam, Sue Rees.
T. M. Krishna - singer, Sangeetha Sivakumar - singer, Akkarai Subhalakshmi - violin, K. Arun Prakash - Mridangam, S. Krishna-Gadam.