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Emotional encounter

A scene from ‘Lavanasuravadham’ Kathakali staged in Kochi

A scene from ‘Lavanasuravadham’ Kathakali staged in Kochi   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

A performance of Lavanasuravadham Kathakali in Kochi had a mix of high and low moments

Lavanasuravadham, penned by Palakkad Amritha Sastrikal, has become popular in Kathakali circles with the staging of the last excerpt of the play that provides ample space for dance and emotive acting. The same was recently presented at Changampuzha Park, Edappally, Kochi. In the first scene, Kalamandalam Shanmukhan’s Sita, who is soaked in anguish, established her presence as the mother of two vibrant children, Lava and Kusha.

His enactment of the padam, ‘Anupamagunanaakum’, bewitchingly rendered by Pathiyoor Sankarankutty and Kalamandalam Krishnakumar in raga Reethigowla, was soul-stirring. As the children plead for permission to walk through the forest and play with others, Sita is overcome with affection and concern. Shanmukhan expressed these sanchari bhavas with composure and later showed Sita’s pride as a mother when both Lava and Kusha display their dexterity in archery.

The actions and reactions of Yadukrishnan as Kusha and Pranav Pradeep as Lava were sprightly. Their encounter with the yagaswya and halting its progress (horse sent by Lord Rama to establish his supremacy far and wide) could have had a little more punch since this act is the provocation leading to subsequent events. Kalamandalam Arunraju as Shatrughna, whose attempt to liberate the horse fails, did not have the desired effect as the battle between him and the children slipped into a trite exercise.

The make-up and costumes of Hanuman suited the figure of Kalamandalam Pradeep whose appearance and actions invigorated the stage in no small measure. The dramatic encounter between Hanuman and the teenagers was persuasively portrayed by all the three actors. Watching Lava and Kusha at close quarters, Pradeep, as Hanuman, movingly presented his recollection of carrying Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulders and bringing them before Sugriva.

However, the interface between Sita and Hanuman, conceived to be the nucleus of the whole excerpt, left much to be desired aesthetically although both actors were precise to a fault in the execution of gestures and expressions. The rendering of the two fervent padams, ‘Hantha hantha Hanumane!’ and ‘Sukhamo Devi’ too fell flat.

Kalamandalam Venumohan on the chenda and Kalanilayam Rakesh on the maddalam paid attention to details while playing on their respective percussion instruments. The event was organised under the aegis of Edappally Kathakali Aswadaka Sadas in association with Sandarshan Kathakali Vidyalayam, Ambalapuzha.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 2:41:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/a-performance-of-of-lavanasuravadham-kathakali-in-kochi-had-a-mix-of-high-and-low-moments/article28878235.ece

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