Nepathya's six-day Koodiyattam festival featured Bhasa's ‘Balivadham.'S.P. Suresh

Nepathya, the centre for Koodiyattam at Moozhikkulam, once again proved its calibre during the six-day Koodiyattam festival held at its Koothambalam.

Last year Nepathya presented Shaktibhadra's ‘Ashokavanikangam' during their 15-day festival. This year, Margi Madhu and Indu G. led the performance of ‘Balivadham,' a part of Bhasa's play ‘Abhisheka.'

Balivadham narrates the story of Sugreeva and Bali and how Rama saves Sugreeva from his elder brother's wrath by killing Bali. In return Sugreeva agrees to help Rama in his search for Sita.

The play unveils the situation wherein Bali and Sugreeva fall out with each other. Motivated by his alliance with Rama, Sugreeva invites Bali to fight with him at Kishkinda. When Bali sets out for the fight, his wife, Thara, warns him of the danger and pleads with him not to fight. But Bali does not heed the warning and falls to one of Rama's arrows.

On the first day of the fete the Purappad of Rama was staged, followed by the Nirvahana of Rama on the next day. Purappad of Sugreeva was presented on the third day and Sugreeva's Nirvahana on the fourth. The fifth day witnessed the meeting of Sugreeva, Rama, Lakshmana and Hanuman. On the sixth day, the final act of Balivadham was presented. Bali, Thara, Rama, Lakshmana, Sugreeva, Hanuman and Angada appeared on stage on that day.

The six-day festival was well attended and Margi Madhu's entries as Sugreeva on the fifth day and as Bali on the sixth day were enchanting. The portrayal of Sugreeva's inner conflicts because of his fear of Bali and his endeavours to test the strength of Rama were exceptional.

An elegant Bali

Madhu presented an elegant Bali. His reaction to Thara, the anwaya of the mudra ‘Vikasitha Pundarika Netra' and the descriptions of Narasimha avatar, Palazhi Madhanam and so on were praiseworthy. While depicting Bali's death, Madhu adhered to the Ammannur style. Madhu's enactment of Bali's death scene was unforgettable. Indu G. left an indelible impression as Thara.

Nepathya Rahul, Nepathya Vishnuprasad, Nepathya Saneesh, Kalamandalam Sangeeth Chakyar, Nepathya Yadukrishnan and Ammannur Madhav were the other artistes who performed. Kalamandalam Rajiv, Kalamandalam Ratheeshbhas, Kalamandalam Anoop, Kalamandalam Sajith Vijayan, Kalamandalam Manikantan and Nepathya Jinesh played the mizhavu, while Kalanilayam Rajan handled the edakka and Nepathya Anjana, the tala. Make-up (chutti) was by Kalamandalam Satheesan.