The Southampton based Kala Chethana Kathakali Company has been awarded a grant from the government to survive the coronavirus pandemic and continue their work in the UK.
A total of 1385 arts organisations in the UK have been awarded similar grants to survive the downturn caused by the pandemic.
The grants are part of the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund announced in July and administered by The Arts Council England. Kala Chethana Kathakali will receive around £50k.
Kala Chethena Kathakali Company, has been promoting Kathakali in the UK through solo performances, 4,000 workshops and 23 exhibitions. More over the company has been bringing artists from Kerala every two years for full company performances all over UK.
The Company was founded in 1987 by Kathakali make-up specialist, Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar and Kathakali actor, Kalamandalam Vijayakumar to bring this remarkable art and culture of Kathakali to the UK.
The company has so far staged 1,750 full company performances, over 3,000 solo performances, 4,000 workshops and 23 exhibitions.
Kalamandalam Vijayakumar has also presented several solo performances for Malayalee associations during Onam festival, including a performance at the British parliament organised by Kerala Link.
Kalamandalam Barbara Vijayakumar said: “This unprecedented support from the arts council is an acknowledgment of our hard work all these years.”
“Like all other performing arts organisations, we had a devastating year. We lost all our bookings. But, thanks to the support from UK Art Council, Kala Chethana Kathakali Troupe can now start getting ready to celebrate the arts from Kerala when the country recovers from the Coronavirus pandemic.” she added.
The company is now getting ready to start performances of Kathakali from the summer of 2021.