Chilkuri Burrakatha Brundham performs Burrakatha, a traditional folk art form on Christmas day


Chilkuri Brothers performs Burrakatha, a Telangana traditional folk art form on Christmas day

Chilkuri Burrakatha Brundham performed Burrakatha, a traditional folk art form on Christmas  day

Three Chilkuri Brothers who form the “Chilkuri Burrakatha Brundham” staged a Burrakatha performance on the Biblical story of “Samson and Delilah” at a programme held on Christmas day on December 25, 2022 in Hyderabad. The performance was given for an exclusive gathering at Kowkur near Bolarum.

Chilkuri Vasanth Rao was the main performer with his brothers Chilkuri Shyam Rao and Chilkuri Sushil Rao being co-performers.

It was in 1978 that the first performance was given by the folk artistes. The story of ‘Samson and Delilah’ was performed at more than 60 places during the initial years itself. The places include apart from several places in Hyderabad, at Medak, Sangareddy, Nalgonda, Kamareddy, Yellareddyguda,  Vizag, Vizianagaram, Kakinada.

“Recollecting the entire story was not so easy but once we got into the narration, the sequence of story fell in line,” Chilkuri Vasanth Rao said. During the early years of their performance, the Chilkuri Burrakatha Brundham received encouragement from the well-known Surabhi Theatre Group which used to provide costumes to the troupe.

The stories that were narrated through the folk art include the story of ‘Nehemiah’ also from the Bible. The performances used to be mainly given during ‘jatharas’ churches used to hold on special occasions.

Chilkuri Vasanth Rao holds a Ph D from Germany and is currently Principal of United Theological College, Bengaluru. His elder brother Chilkuri Shyam Rao is a leading advocate in Hyderabad and his younger brother Chilkuri Sushil Rao is a filmmaker and mediaperson.

While the three brothers have performed and recorded several Telangana Christian folk songs over the years, the Burrakatha performance was given after a long gap, mostly recollecting from memory what used to be performed more than 40 years ago.

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