The Right to Rule (Kōyma) ; And, The Domain of the Sun (Sūryasthāna)
Seagull Books, 1989 - Malayalam drama - 60 pages
The plays in this volume draw on myth to communicate situations which are both contemporary and universal. In The Right to Rule, the characters, images and languages are characteristic of myth being non-realistic and non-representational while in The Domain of the Sun, in a reworking of the story of Ramayana, the playwright dramatizes the ancient myth of the victory of light and wisdom over the tyranny of darkness, ignorance and evil. Ravan represents the forces of repression, Rama as Suryavanshi embodies the life-giving power of the Sun, and Sita is the earth, in danger of being robbed of its fertility by the prolonged reign of darkness which is eventually terminated by the Sun s triumph. Kavalam Narayana Panikkar utilises several performance traditions of his native Kerala to evolve his distinctive theatre, including Mohiniattam, Kathakali, Padayani or folk dance and Koodiyattam. The result is a rich audiovisual spectacle in which music, song, dance, mime, verse and the spoken word are choreographed into a dynamic unity. K. N. Panikkar is one of India s most active and acclaimed playwright-directors. In 1983 he was honoured by the Sangeet Natak Akademi for his contribution to Indian theatre.
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