Bhadrakali of Kakinada was impressive in her opening performance at the all-women Burrakatha fest.

Department of Culture and Culture Council with the help of an all-women cultural organisation ‘Abhinandana’, held a four-day Burrakatha event at Ghantasala Pranganam, Ravindra Bharati. The highlight of course was the all-women performance.

Bhadrakali, a veteran artiste from Kakinada was selected to open the festival narrating the story of ‘Sita Rama Kalyanam’. Her team comprised of her own family members — Vijay and Sitaramaswamy who were the ‘vanthalu’, who also provide synchronized percussion on an instrument called ‘dikki’. They have a clear-cut mission on hand; one, to add to the story narration and the other to entertain audience with humourous tid-bits. However, they played spoil sport interfering needlessly resorting to cheap and mundane jokes that interrupted the main theme of Bhadrakali’s narration.

Bhadrakali was forceful in her rendition, with vigorous movements back and forth on stage. Bearing a tambura on her shoulders, she proved a perfect figure of Burrakatha, capturing audience attention. She opened with ‘Saraswathi Vandanam’ rendering Manikyaveenam with swaras, displaying her knowledge inclassical music as well.

The story line Bhadrakali began narrating opened from the aging king Dasaratha worrying a lot for not having children though he had three wives, Kausalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi. While narrating the sage Rushysringa’s role in advising Dasaratha to perform ‘Putrakameshti Yagnam’, Bhadrakali explained the role a ‘guru’ plays in building up the character of his sishya. Bhadrakali also gave reasons why Rama is named so saying it was the component of Vishnu and Siva. She rendered a fine song lauding glory of Rama after his birth.