Vinu Vasudevan

`Kathakali Samsthuti' is a collector's item.

A series of VCDs on Kathakali performances by living legends of the art form was release d recently. It has been produced in the form of a series by the Palakkad-based Vazhenkada Kunju Nair Memorial Trust. This 10-hour Kathakali bonanza called `Kathakali Samsthuti' contains pieces by maestros like Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair, Padmanabhan Na ir, Kottakal Sivaraman, Kalamandalam Vijayan and Nelliyode Vasudevan Namboothiri. It is a great form of reference material for future generations.

Master performance

The first disc has three attakathas: Kottarakkara Thampuran's `Thoranayudhom,' Irayimman Thampi's `Utharaswayamwaram' and `Banayudhom' by Balakavi Ramasasthrikal. Hanuman crossing the sea has been vividly portrayed by Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair and Ravanan by Padmanabhan Nair. The performances have been ably supported by Madampi Subramanian Namboothiri, who proves his mastery in classical singing, and Kalamandalam Narayanan Nambeesan on the maddalam and Kalamandalam Unnikrishnan on the chenda. The second VCD has `Uttaraswayamvaram' a popular attakatha penned by Irrayimman Thampi. Vazhankada Vijayan's portrayal of Duryodhanan and `Thrigartha' by Nelliyode Vasudevan Namboothiri make it a collectors' item.The third disc contains `Banayudh am.' Kottakal Sivaraman as Chitralekha is breathtaking. Margi Vijayakumar makes a mark with his role as Usha. The late Kalamandalam Hyderali has sung the padams.