The Best Snack Ever: On the Jester's Performance in Koodiyattam
FNO 02/ 40-46
Guest Lecture by Dr. Ophira Gamliel (Hebrew University)
Koodiyattam, a South Indian temple theater, presents Classical Sanskrit drama since the tenth century. On the Koodiyattam stage, the jester (vidūṣaka) is the only character who speaks in Malayalam, blending languages, dialects and registers, mingling the divine with the mundane. We will watch the jester swiftly altering the Sanskrit plot into performance in Malayalam, dismissing the ancient story of the captive king Udayana in favor of describing a stolen snack (ada) and elaborating on its excellence, preparation, auspicious reception and disappearance. By making the snack his focal point, the jester subverts the boundaries between stage and audience, tradition and innovation relentlessly turning the sublime into grotesque.