Natanakairali, Irinjalakuda (Kerala)

From October 1, 2020 Ongoing

Presented as a narrative by the sole actress relying primarily on detailed hand gestures and facial emoting, Nangiarkoothu is a classical Kerala temple art that emerged a millennium ago as an offshoot of the ancient Sanskrit theatre of Koodiyattam.

Traditionally, Nangiarkoothu essays episodes from the life of Lord Krishna, by banking on a text that has 217 Sanskrit slokas compiled from various sources including Bhagavatham and Gita Govindam. Kapila Venu, a top Nangiarkoothu artiste, has currently embarked on an online project documenting the entire repertoire of the art form.

As of now, Kapila is doing the first half (Poorva Bhaagam) of Sreekrishnacharitham. Conceived to span 21 episodes of durations ranging from 50 minutes to three hours each, the online venture that began on October 1 is available permanently on YouTube subsequently.


Kapila, 38, is the daughter of Koodiyattam master Venu G and Mohiniyattam exponent Nirmala Paniker. Besides Venu, she was trained by late maestro Ammannur Madhava Chakyar.

Natanakairali, which Venu founded at Irinjalakuda of central Kerala in 1975, facilitates training and research in Koodiyattam, Nangiarkoothu and Mohiniyattam.


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