Tamil Nadu theatre group marks 25 years of transcending the limits of body

Transcending the limits of body, space and time, Manalmagudi Theatre Land is completing its 25 years of continuous theatrical experiments this year.

Based in Kovilpatti in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district, Manalmagudi is famous for its ritual theatre. While lack of support and sponsorship has proven to be stumbling block for the growth of contemporary Tamil theatre, the Kovilpatti-based theatre troupe has scripted a unique story of success spanning 25 years by exploring the potential of the body to tell stories.

Launched in 1997, the Manalmagudi Theatre Land is marking its silver jubilee with continuous theatrical experiments this year. What makes Manalmagudi (rhythm of land) different is that it is an experimental theatre troupe which focuses on traditional rituals when it comes to performance. The idea is to explore and transcend the limits of body, space and time.

S Murugaboopathy, founder of Manalmagudi, uses land and rituals from rural contexts and transforms them into a new genre of theatre. He makes the human body move beyond the conventional frame of theatre. The body creates a language of its own and communicates with the audience, according to Murugaboopathy, who is planning a four-day festival to mark 25 years of Manalmagudi Theatre Land in May 2023.


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