Annie Johnson, project assistant at the Vylopilli Samskriti Bhavan, became fascinated by Nangiarkoothu after watching performances by seasoned performers. Although she had learnt dance as a school student, Annie says she did not ever imagine she could master this art form with its own grammar and language of expression.

That was when she happened to see a Polish student of Margi Sathi perform her arangettam. “I felt that if she, a foreigner, could do it, I could learn this as well. I asked Margi Sathi who happily agreed to teach me,” recalls Annie.

She started learning Nangiarkoothu four years ago. For her arangettam in June this year, Annie chose Sree Krishna Charitham Kalpalathikayude Purappadu which depicts the tale of Kalpalathika, a friend of Subhadra.

Now Annie will take to the stage again on Saturday with the performance of ‘Kamsavritham.’ “It narrates the story of Kamsa’s birth and how he was abandoned by his parents. Later, he began to train in weaponry under the care of Jarsandha. Meanwhile, his sister, Devaki, is born,” explains Annie.