Theatre

An enduring romance

Chembakkara Vijayan as Damayanthi in 'Nalacharitham Onnaam Divasam.' Photo: Special Arrangement

Chembakkara Vijayan as Damayanthi in 'Nalacharitham Onnaam Divasam.' Photo: Special Arrangement

The attakatha of ‘Nalacharitham' is unique in many ways. It is widely appreciated due to its theatrical as well as literary merits. When competent actors stage the play, it becomes a memorable experience for rasikas.

This was emphasised during a performance of ‘Nalacharitham Onnaam Divasam' (Nalacharitham, Day I). This play deals with the romance of Nala and Damayanthi. Nala, King of Nishadha, hears from sage Narada about Damayanthi, the charming daughter of Bheema, King of Kundinapuri.

Narada's description is enough for Nala to fall head over heels in love with Damayanthi.

His infatuation for her interferes with his official duties. He decides to take a walk in the garden where he encounters an enchanting golden swan that tells the lovelorn king that it would carry his message to Damayanthi.

Messenger of love

Nala agrees and the swan flies away. The swan conveys Nala's message while Damayanthi is in the garden with her maids. The swan promises to ensure that Nala and Damayanthi are married to each other and returns to Nala with Damayanthi's declaration of love.

A team of talented artistes staged the play. Ettumanoor Kannan's Nala touched the hearts of his audience with his evocative portrayal of the infatuated king. The audience appreciated his natural movements on stage as he depicted Nala's infatuation for Damayanthi.

Chembakkara Vijayan enacted the role of Damayanthi.

It was Kalamandalam Sucheendran who donned the role of the golden swan. Kalamandalam Babu Namboodiry and Kalamandalam Sudheesh sang with depth and charm that it enhanced the romantic scenes. Ragas such as Dwijawanthi (‘Poka poonkavil'), Desh (‘Minnalkody') and so on were rendered with bhava.

Kalamandalam Balasundaram was on the chenda and Kalanilayam Anish played the maddalam.

The programme was organised under the aegis of Natyadharmy, Parakkadavu, in association with Taluk Library Council, Aluva.


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Printable version | May 27, 2022 8:44:55 am | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/theatre/an-enduring-romance/article2302044.ece