Close to our Arts is a flagship endeavor of Neelambari to present the rich cultural tradition of Kerala to its discerning visitors without abridgment or adulteration. Kathakali, Koodiyattam, Koothu, Mohiniyattam, Ottan Thullal, Melam, Thayampaka, Mudiyettu, Panchavadyam, Kalamezhuthu - Kerala has a seemingly endless list of splendid art forms that have evolved over several centuries and encapsulates the varied social, cultural and regional flavors that defined them. Most of these art forms are highly nuanced and carry a deeper significance than meets the eye. At the same time they are invariably colorful and mesmerizing to the senses for any lay spectator. So much so that the inner beauty and deeper significance of these art forms are usually lost to a casual visitor to Kerala. Only a few manage to scratch beneath the surface and some of them completely enamored by what they see often spend months or years in pursuit of a better understanding and master of these arts.
Close to our Arts is an attempt to provide some context and guidance for a better appreciation of the traditional art forms of Kerala. While eschewing a superficial presentation we also wanted to entertain the leisurely visitors and have studiously avoided pedagogy (sic). The Koothambalam (traditional theater / performance arena) of Neelambari provides a truly magnificent space to engage in these classical art forms. The beautiful nature around us including the riverside is used as an extended setting to add a feeling of timelessness as you engage in art forms that evolved over several centuries.
Close to our Arts involves a full day of entertainment that includes actual unabridged performances aided by audio-visual briefings, live demonstrations and artiste interactions in a very casual and lively setting so that our guests are engaged without being challenged. An epicurean fare involving Kerala’s traditional fare, a boat or canoe ride in the beautiful Karuvannur Puzha (river) and village walk add to the charm of this signature event. A typical schedule would be as follows:
Close to our Arts is usually held on the second or third Saturday of every month. For specific schedules please refer our Events page. We can also arrange bespoke version of the program assuming there are a minimum number of guests. Please contact us for more details if you are interested.