TEYYAM, of Gods, Heroes and Ancestors Part Two

TEYYAM, of Gods, Heroes and Ancestors Part Two

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Join The Explorers Club on Monday, December 18th for a special screening of TEYYAM, of Gods, Heroes and Ancestors Part Two.

Cultic and ritualistic arts have always exerted a great influence on the social life in India, especially Kerala, the home of a myriad range of performing traditions. Prominent, among these, is the ritualistic art form of Teyyam (literally, “Dances of the Gods”). During seven months of the year, regardless of caste, social function, income, gender and age, devotees attend Teyyam rituals to seek blessings, ward off evil spirits, cure disease, have a healthy child-birth, settle disputes, and gain advice and prosperity from the Gods.

Morell’s film offers a penetrating look at these sacred performances, along with interviews of the performers and noted scholars in the field. The film moves in-and-out of a thoroughly immersive experience, where we can feel the euphoria of the actors and the participants who are caught up in the action, to an insightful narrative that explains the significance of the drama. Morell’s film is a truly memorable work, and in many ways it is emblematic of his other documentaries, which display his unique ability to transcend the camera’s objective lens to bring us a compelling, first-hand experience. What is perhaps most striking about Teyyam rituals, which include dance, music, chanting and real, scorching fires (as opposed to safe, artificially-controlled pyrotechnics), is the opportunity participants have to commune directly with their Vedic Gods, and thereby seek cures, blessings, insight, health and prosperity, protection from evil spirits, healthy child-bearing, and advice in the settling of disputes. The costumes are extraordinary. The physical and emotional preparation that goes into staging a Teyyam is itself intense, even at times spell-binding. Morell captures these moments, too, with an unflinching dedication to communicate the essence of an ancient, yet still vibrant, art.

In-person tickets are $15 for Members, and $30 for the General Public.

Check-in will begin at 6:00 pm, with a beer and wine reception from 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Click HERE to learn more.