Memorable acts by skilled actors

Kathakali buffs paid homage to the legendary Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair by lighting up the stage with interesting recitals.

Updated - October 18, 2016 12:41 pm IST

Published - March 24, 2016 10:33 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Kottakkal Devadas as Veerabhadra in 'Dakshayagam'. Photo: special arrangement

Kottakkal Devadas as Veerabhadra in 'Dakshayagam'. Photo: special arrangement

Kathakali performances by leading artistes were the main attraction of a programme to pay homage to Kathakali legend Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair on his third death anniversary. A Purappad, Melappadam and three plays –‘Kirmeeravadham, ‘Utharaswayamvaram’ and ‘Dakshayagam’ – were performed that night at Olappamanna Mana, the centre of ‘Kalluvazhi chitta’ in Kathakali.

Purappad and Melappadam with four Krishna veshams, four chenda and four maddalam was the inaugural piece. Kalamandalam Balaraman efficiently led the whole team from the front as the senior chenda player. Kathakali vocalist Kottakkal Madhu enthralled the audience in the company of Nedumpalli Rammohan. Kottakkal Ravi led the maddalam players.

Madhu’s evocative singing also showcased his virtuosity, especially when he rendered ‘Chala malaya mridupavana…’ almost 32 times in different ragas.

Kottayathu Thampuran's ‘Kirmeeravadham’, the first play to be performed, had Kalamandalam Balasubramanian enacting the role of Dharmaputhra. He maintained the ‘sthayi’ (dominant mood) of the character throughout the play. A well-planned presentation of the padam ‘Bale kel mamaka vani...’ was the pick of his performance. Vellinezhi Haridas appeared as Panchali and Sadanam Bhasi donned the character of Lord Krishna.

‘Utharaswayamvaram’, penned by Irayimman Thampi, was staged next. The play narrates the life of the Pandavas in disguise in the kingdom of Virata. Kalamandalam Soman pulled no punches while essaying the character of Duryodhana, moving with grace from one emotion to the other.

Kalamandalam Ramachandran Unnithan played the role of Thrigarthan. His initial manodharma attam was brief but interesting. His mastery over 'Chuvannathadi' roles was vivid in each and every movement. In ‘Dakshayagam’, the last play staged that night, Kalamandalam Manoj and Kottakkal Devadas enacted the roles of Daksha and Veerabhadran respectively. Although the actors came good in their performance, they were let down by the percussion artistes.

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