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In praise of Krishna

S.P. Suresh
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Spotlight ‘Srikrishnacharitham’ Nangiarkoothu was essayed in great detail by Indhu G. S.P. Suresh

Nepathya’s Koothambalam at Moozhikulam has become one of the rare venues for showcasing Kerala’s treasure of traditional art forms such as Chakyarkoothu, Nangiarkoothu, Koodiyattam and so on. Recently, it was the venue for a ‘Srikrishnacharitham’ Nangiarkoothu by Indhu G.

The kriti, a compilation by P.K. Narayanan Nambiar, consists of 217 slokas that narrate the story of Lord Krishna, right from the emergence of the kingdom of Mathura and its kings. The events prior to the birth of Krishna, his parents’ imprisonment, childhood, incidents that lead to Kamsa’s death and so on, up to his reign as ruler of Dwaraka are enacted. The performance here began with Kalpalathika, when Subhadra’s maid sets off to find out the identity of the man Subhadra loves.

It is a challenge for an actor to conceive and communicate the drama only with the help of her expressions and mudras. Indhu narrated the story in 50 hours. It was staged for 18 days over a period of six months.

It was perhaps for the first time that ‘Sreekrishnacharitam’ Nangiarkoothu was being enacted outside the koothambalam of a temple. The play of emotions, the impersonations (pakarnattam) and the oneness of mind and body, subtle and keen observations, showcased the histrionics of the actor.

Even minute expressions of the actor found resonance on the mizhavu and the edakka. Kalamandalam Rajeev, Kalamandalam Ratheesh Bhas, Kalamandalam Manikantan, Nepathya Jinesh, Nepathya Aswin, R. Anoop and Sivadasan played on the mizhavu and Rajan on the edakka.


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