Therukkoothu | தெருக்கூத்து
This July end my friend Balaji informed about a therukkoothu happening at Madambakkam and myself along with Balaji and Kowshik had a chance to attend to and document it.
The place was dimly lit for the camera and lighting was highly challenging. An opportunity i got to take high iso, dark, high contrast, noisy shots. I favour them very much 😀
Therukkoothu, the folk dance/play of Tamizhnadu is conducted on the streets with an wooden bench to seat the singers and musical troupe. Behind this is the dressing area. The troupe head informed that it would start by 11Pm and will go on till 5am in the morning.
We tried to cover the dressing and the play for an hour.
I hope the following pictures can tell you much about it.
Every play starts after worshiping God, playing the musical instruments and singing songs.
After worshipping god, the troupe starts to dress up. This include wearing the traditional attire, crown, breast shields, face masks, etc and face painting that depict the character.
This is their makeup kit. Face painting includes only natural colors. They are bright colors which gives an exaggerated look of the character.
An artist painting his face all by himself. No makeup men, no hair stylist. Every artist dress up all by themselves.
A small mirror to see themselves and a thin wooden stick for a brush is all they use, yet they brilliantly paint their face.
Another artist use the same to paint his face.
Same kind of mask being worn by an artist. The color of the face paint would be used to identify the character.
Fully geared up.
The stage is set. The actors perform in a very theatrical manner. They deliver their speeches in high-sounding and sometimes even exaggerated words. They have to be loud enough to catch the attention of the spectators through their voice only as there is no support from modern day microphones as such. Their costumes glitter and words thunder to the accompaniment of the necessary music.
An artist wearing a mask. This covers the head, the ears and have a wig of thick moustache.
Therukkoothu does not allow the womenfolk as performers. Only men can take part and even the female roles are played by the men folk. Here a man dress up like a woman.
They dance and sing all by themselves and move rapidly with high energy. Its fun and frolic all the way.
A part of the play.
In just 2 hours we were fully exhausted taking pictures and decided to go home. But the street play was going on and they would perform till morning. Their energy and ability amazed me and would continue to inspire me.
© 2011 MRKrishnamoorthy. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use these photographs without my permission. If you wish to use the above photographs for non commercial purpose, please contact me.