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Three-day Kathakali festival opens at Kalakshetra

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Sharing views: K.G. Paulose, Vice-Chancellor, Kerala Kalamandalam in discussion with dancers Leela Venkataraman (right) and Padma Subrahmanyam, at the Kathakali Festival in Chennai on Monday. Photo: R. Ravindran
Sharing views: K.G. Paulose, Vice-Chancellor, Kerala Kalamandalam in discussion with dancers Leela Venkataraman (right) and Padma Subrahmanyam, at the Kathakali Festival in Chennai on Monday. Photo: R. Ravindran

Staff Reporter

Chennai: A three-day Kathakali Festival ‘Bhava Bhavanam’ organised by the Kalakshetra Foundation and Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, opened here on Monday.

Inaugurating the festival, K.G. Paulose, Vice-Chancellor, Kerala Kalamandalam, highlighted the difference between realistic and suggestive acting.

“There are two methods by which acting can be non-realistic. While Natyadharmi is stylised acting, in Padarth Abhinaya every word is enacted and thus gives ample scope for the actor to exhibit his or her talents,” said Mr. Paulose. “These are the two factors that make any dance classical,” he added.

Besides performances by the dance exponents, the festival, at the Kalakshetra Foundation, will also include lecture-demonstrations and screening of documentaries on Kathakali.

Dancer Leela Venkataraman stressed the importance of natya sastra and the need for a collaborative effort to promote dance forms.

“It is only the natya sastra that lets you know who you are and one needs to get their roots strong with it,” said Ms. Venkataraman. She said why documentation of this festival is special as these are live performances, which will be archived for the foundation.

Dancer Padma Subrahmanyam said that it is necessary that one has such events to understand India’s glory. The festival is open to all and starts from 9 a.m. onwards.

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