Kutty Kahani: Epics retold in a nutshell

Animation, catchy tunes, storytelling — Kutty Kahani has all the fitting substances to seize kids’s consideration

Akka, akka,” calls out a younger woman to her sister as she arranges the dolls representing Vishnu’s 10 avatars. The older sibling gently places the dolls in appropriate order, then performs a small dance depicting the Dasavataram to a verse from Jayadeva’s Gita Govindam. This video sequence introduces the viewer to the avatars, to Jayadeva and the Gita Govinda, and the Navaratri ritual of golu, all in a span of three minutes.

The story of Rudraksh

In one other video, a younger boy named Rudraksh tells the story behind his title, explaining about Shiva and the rudrakshamala, and goes on to play the tabla, figuring out Shiva because the god of rhythm.

A crew of 70 younger storytellers introduced tales like these in 55 episodes of a collection that was streamed on-line over 42 days lately. Kutty Kahani — Everlasting Tales, Younger Storytellers was the brainchild of Bharatanatyam dancer and guru Ananda Shankar Jayant, who can also be the founding father of Natyarambha.

With so many kids caught at dwelling through the pandemic, Ananda noticed that kids who had their grandparents dwelling with them obtained to hearken to conventional tales from the 2 epics and be taught concerning the myths. However many different kids had been omitted. “Since these kids are unfamiliar with many components of cultural historical past, I used the digital platform to make some such tales accessible to them in a medium they’re snug with,” she says.

Vibrant themes

Ananda’s transient was clear. The narration was to be performed by kids aged between 5 and 13, in any language, by way of any artwork type of their selection — from mime to poetry. She requested the mother and father to verify the video tales had been lower than 5 minutes lengthy, in order that they could possibly be informative and attention-grabbing however not tedious. And he or she wished so as to add one thing extra, to compete with the glut of visible content material in the marketplace. “Gunjan Ashtaputre, my designer, not solely created a vibrant animation theme, but in addition enhanced the narratives in every episode with photos of sketches, added on to make the narrative extra impactful,” she says. It’s not simply the visuals — the theme music can also be distinctive.

Harking back to Jim Reeves’ ‘Bimbo,’ it’s fast to seize the eye of younger kids.

The movies of their last avatar went by way of a protracted course of to get there. Ananda had made it clear that full duty for creating the tales lay with the mother and father. She needed to ship a number of movies again, asking them to stay to the stipulated format and size. In some circumstances, she needed to ask them to report the voice individually, in order that it could possibly be synchronised later with the visible content material. The content material was then edited and despatched for animation. That’s when visuals drawn from the storyline in addition to subtitles in English and regional languages had been added. Related slokas had been interspersed wherever potential.

Narthaki.com, Anita Ratnam’s dance portal, got here ahead as a digital associate for streaming. SBI and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi, additionally supported the initiative. When the movies went on-line, the benefit of the digital format was instantly clear — they attracted a big viewership.

“Probably the most satisfying expertise has been the truth that every thing from communication to creation has been performed digitally,” says Ananda. “As soon as we began streaming it, the response was phenomenal and kids throughout the globe got here ahead to take part with nice enthusiasm. So overwhelming has been the response that we might want to current one other season later. It will be thrilling if the concept beneficial properties momentum and extra individuals come ahead.”

The writer is a Chennai-primarily based freelance author.

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