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Choreography on `Puthenpana' staged

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ENTHRALLING SHOW: A choreography based on `Puthenpana' being presented in Thrissur on Saturday.
ENTHRALLING SHOW: A choreography based on `Puthenpana' being presented in Thrissur on Saturday.

Staff Reporter

Thrissur: A choreography based on Arnos Pathiri's `Puthenpana' was staged here on Saturday night by the Chetana Sangeeta Natya Academy, run by the Congregation of Mary Immaculate.

The production was presented by a team led by Paul Poovathingal to a packed audience that included Thrissur Auxiliary Bishop Mar Andrews Thazhathu. The choreography by Kalamandalam Husnabhanu and Sobhana Sajeev blended elements of Mohiniyattom and Bharathanatyam.

Puthenpana' is a Malayalam poem on Christ's life written by Johann Ernst Hanxleden (born at Ostercappeln near Osnabrück in Hanover, Germany, in 1681), grammarian, lexicographer and philologist, known as Arnos Pathiri in Kerala.

One of the earliest Malayalam poems based on Christian themes `Puthenpana' has been to Christian households what Ezhuthachan's `Adhyatma Ramayanam' is to the Hindus. The `padams' (cantos) of `Puthenpana' are recited by Kerala Christians on several occasions, including Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Lent.

There are 14 `padams'. But for the 12th `padam' that is written in the metre, Nathonatha, the rest of the couplets are written in the metre, Sarpini.

The 12th padam, portraying the lament of Virgin Mary at the Crucifixion and death of Jesus, is considered the most important. The other padams centre on Fall of Man (second), Annunciation (fourth), Nativity (fifth), Sermon on the Mount (seventh), Last Supper (10th), trial and Crucifixion (11th), Resurrection (13th) and Ascension (14th). The poem is believed to have been composed between 1721 and 1732.

Johann Ernst Hanxleden arrived in India on December 13, 1700, as a Jesuit missionary.

Along with his superiors Wilhelm Weber and Wilhelm Meyr and a barber Franz Kaspar Schillinger, Haxleden travelled through Italy, Turkey, Syria, Armenia and Persia, and reached Surat. Weber and Meyer died at sea.

The lyrics of `Puthenpana' were set to tune by Abdul Azeez and Fr. Paul Poovathingal.

The dancers included Sreerag, Anne Mary, Doju Joly, Sree Ranjini, Meenu, Sreeji, Cindrella, Anuja and Meghna Krishna.

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