The `Mid-Summer Fest 2006' enthralled the audience in Thrissur.
The three-day `Mid-Summer Fest 2006' in Thrissur showcased the performance of artistes practising different art forms. While `Lavanasuravadham Kathakali,' staged on the first day, roped in stalwarts like Kottakkal Sivaraman and Sadanam Krishnankutty, the `talents-meet' on the second day provided a platform for 13 children who had proved their virtuosity in different arts forms at the last State school youth festival. Kanak Rele was felicitated by Bharatam, which had also organised the fete, for the Kalidas Samman conferred on her by the Madhya Pradesh Government recently for her contributions to Mohiniyattom. She and her two disciples enthralled the audience with a Mohiniyattom recital on the third day.
Among Kathakali plays, `Lavanasuravadham' stands out for the defining role of Hanuman, especially in his dealings with Lava and Kusha. A challenge even to seasoned artistes, the character as portrayed by Sadanam Krishnankutty won the hearts of the connoisseurs who had thronged the auditorium to have a glimpse of his not-so-common vesham. The delineation of the famous lines, `Sukhamo devi sambrathamihathe' as he addressed Sita and the restraint with which he interacted with the boys were specially noteworthy. Sivaraman's Sita was an epitome of genteel behaviour. Performances of Sadanam Bhasi (Kusha) and Kalamandalam Harinarayanan (Lava) highlighted the rigorous disciplining they had undergone in their respective institutions. Commendable was the portrayal of Sathrugna by Orupulassery Jishnu, a young artiste who had stood first in the inter-zone Kathakali competitions of Calicut University youth festival early this year. The rendition by Palanad Divakaran, assisted by Nedumpilly Rammohan, was alluring. Among the exponents of Mohiniyattom, Dr. Rele stands out for her pioneering research on the lyrical dance form of Kerala. Initially trained in Kathakali by `Panchali' Karunakara Panicker, Dr. Rele had documented stalwarts like Chinnammu Amma, Kunjukutty Amma and Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma in the Seventies for analysing the dance kinetics of Mohiniyattom. The pains of the Indian woman has been the leitmotif of many of Dr. Rele's choreographies. Interestingly, all such productions were anchored on legendary characters as well. She says, "History tells us that of the two genders, it is the woman who has been permanently wronged, her entire being trampled upon. Yet again and again, she rises stronger of the two. Her suffering, resulting in tolerance and sacrifice, makes her a person of steel yet as soft as a petal of flower to tower above her male counterpart."
The agony and ecstasy of Gandhari who had blindfolded herself "to envelope herself in the darkness of her deceived and anguished soul," received a picturesque narration in her solo performance that was set to Kanada and Adi tala. Abhinaya proved her forte in this as well as in the other solo depicting Radha and Krishna based on a composition of Ayyappa Panicker. An ashtapadi in ragamalika, presented by Madhuri Desamukh, and `Tatwam' based on one of the dhyana slokas of Sankaracharya, presented by Saji Nair, were the other numbers.