Ernakulam Kathakali Club's golden jubilee celebrations culminated in a three-day festival of Kathakali plays.

The finale of the year-long golden jubilee celebrations of Ernakulam Kathakali Club was a three-day fete that showcased outstanding performances by eminent Kathakali actors.

The highlight of the first day was the performance of ‘Nalacharitham Onnam Divasam' featuring Kalamandalam Gopi as Nala. Gopi was exceptionally good in his favourite role. RLV Gopi captivated spectators as the ‘Hamsam.'

Kalanilayam Unnikrishnan and Nedumpilli Rammohan rendered the padams melodiously. ‘Bakavadham,' ‘Rajasooyam' and ‘Kiratham' were staged on the second day in addition to a Purapad and an impressive Melapadam.

This part of ‘Bakavadham', (from Vyasan onwards), which is rarely performed these days, was an unforgettable treat for the spectators. Kalamandalam Balasubramaniam was superb as Bheema. ‘Thapasa…,' a padam in Bilahari, was evocatively rendered by vocalists Sreekumaran Unni and Babu Namboodiri. Kalamandalam Unnikrishnan (chenda) and Kalamandalam Sasikumar (maddalam) supported the actors.

‘Rajasooyam' featured Kalamandalam Soman as Jarasandhan and Kalamandalam Krishnakumar as Sisupalan. Krishnakumar was excellent as as the arrogant Sisupalan who humiliates and ridicules Krishna. He brilliantly depicted the ‘Rasakreeda' sequence, which depicts Krishna stealing the clothes of gopikas.

Visual treat

‘Subhdraharanam' and ‘Ravanavijayam' were staged on the third day. Naripatta Narayanan Namboodiri as Balabadran and Sadanam Bhasi as Krishna in ‘Subhdraharanam' were a delight to watch. The Ashtakalasam, choreographed by Keezhapadam Kumaran Nair, was the highlight of the performance. ‘Ravanavijayam' featured Kalamandalam Sreekumar as Ravana and RLV Radhakrishnan as Ramba.

Vocalists Palanaad Diwakaran and Sadanam Sivadas did an excellent job.