‘Sauravam,' organised in connection with a function to felicitate maddalam vidwan Kottakal Ravi, showcased a variety of traditional art forms of Kerala.

‘Sauravam,' a cultural fete was organised at Kolathur, near Malappuram, in connection with the felicitation of ace maddalam artiste Kottakkal Ravi's 50th birthday celebrations. A variety of traditional art forms such as Kathakali, Nangiarkoothu, Thayampaka, Carnatic music, Mohiniyattam, Panchavadyam, and so on, were featured during the three-day festivities. Around 300 artistes from different art forms participated in the festival.

Kottakkal Ravi (Kottakkal Raveendran) was brought up in the midst of art forms such as Kathakali and Panchavadyam. After completing his training in maddalam under maestros such as Cherpulassery Sivan, Palur Achuthan Nair, and Kottakkal Sankaranarayanan, Ravi worked at Gandhi Seva Sadanam, Perur, as a maddalam teacher. In 1984 he joined PSV Natyasangham, Kottakkal, as the tutor of maddalam.

Kathakali in focus

The highlight of the fete was three evenings of Kathakali performed by some of the most renowned artistes in Kerala. ‘Ravanavijayam,' ‘Duryodhanavadham' ‘Nalacharitham – Nalaam Divasam,' ‘Dakshayagam' and ‘Utharaswayamvaram' were the plays staged. Madavoor Vasudevan Nair donned the role of Ravana in ‘Ravanavijayam.' It was a rare treat for the audience to watch the octogenarian artiste's Kaplingadan style (southern style) of Kathakali. His disciple Kalamandalam Rajasekharan, Sadanam Bhasi,

Kalamandalam Balasubramanian, Kalamandalam Krishnakumar and Vellinezhi Haridas were some of the leading Kathakali artistes who took the stage on the first day.

The second evening's Kathakali began with ‘Nalacharitham – Nalaam Divasam' with maestro Kalamandalam Gopi in the role of Bahuka.

Stalwarts Margi Vijayakumar and Kalamandalam Sucheedranath also participated on the second day. ‘Dakshayagam' was performed by a number of up-and-coming artistes.

On the last day of the fete, ‘Utharaswayamvaram' was staged by PSV Natyasangham. Stalwarts of the institution such as Chandrasekhara Warrier, Kesavan Kundalayar, and Kottakkal Devadas donned the lead roles.

Violinist Balabhasker's fusion concert with chenda maestro Mattannur Sankarankutty Marar was another highlight of the fete, as was a Carnatic music concert by Sreevalsan J. Menon and a Mohiniyattam recital by Vineetha Nedungadi.

Mattannur Sankarankutty and his two sons, Sreeraj and Sreekanth, led a ‘triple' Thayampaka, much to the delight of the spectators. ‘Nangiarkoothu' by Kalamandalam Shylaja was noteworthy. She performed an excerpt from ‘Kachadevyani,' which she herself choreographed.