The character of Veerabhadran appeared as a Velutha thaadi vesham in Dakshayagam. B. Hariharan

A performance of Dakshayagam Kathakali in Thiruvananthapuram turned out to be special on account of the presence of the character of Veerabhadran as a Velutha thaadi vesham. Kalamandalam Ramachandran Unnithan's Veerabhadran enhanced the play. The performance started with the padam ‘Ariyathe mama puthriye.'

Thonnakkal Peethambaran's Dakshan captured the arrogance that led to the banishment of his own daughter Sati on the eve of a yagna. Kalamandalam Shanmukhan's Sati was caught between the arrogance of Dakshan and the anger of Siva. Finally she immolates herself and that is when Kalamandalam Harinarayanan's Siva plucks out a matt of his hair, throws it down and performs the tandava. Veerabhadran and Bhadrakali are created from the matted hair that Shiva throws.

The Velutha thaadi vesham for Veerabhadran is quite uncommon these days and the staple is the use of Chuvanna thaadi. The three-layered chutti, Vella thaadi and off-white upper garment heightened the Roudra bhava of Veerabhadra right from the thiranottam. The experienced hands of R.L.V. Somadas, which shaped the chutti, needs special mention.

Enhanced rasanubhava

His make-up and performance enhanced the rasanubhava of roudra. It was again this bhava that echoed in Unnithan's brisk kalasams. This surely was the performance of a master who could communicate the sthaayi of roudra in tune with the rhythm of his body and the beats of the chenda.

Another highlight of the evening was the involvement of the young chenda percussionists Kalanilayam Ratheesh and Kalamandlam Ravishankar. Kalamandalam Achuthavarrier and Srikanteswaram Mohanachandran supported on the maddalam.

Kalanilayam Vinod nicely stood in for Indran and Kottarakkara Ganga made her presence felt in the final moments as Bhadrakali.

The play was organised by Drisyavedi, Thiruvananthapuram.