Theatre

Stage for Kathakali

Kalamandalam Gopi and Kalamandalam Balasubramanian as Balabhadra and Krishna in 'Subhadraharanam Part Two'   | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Thrissur Kathakali Club, one of the oldest such clubs in the State, celebrated its anniversary with the staging of Manthredathu Nambudiri's ‘Subhadraharanam – Part Two' and Kottarakkara Thampuran's ‘Thoranayudham.' The night-long visual treat began with purappad and Melappadam (single), with vocals by Kottakkal Narayanan and Vengeri Narayanan; Sadanam Ramakrishnan and Sadanam Devadas were on the chenda and maddalam respectively.

‘Subhadrahanam – Part Two' begins with two Brahmins sharing their thoughts about the marriage of Subhadra, sister of Balarama (known as Balabhadra in Kathakali) and Sreekrishna. The next scene depicts Balabhadra's conversation with his brother. Kalamandalam Gopi, who performed the role of Balabhadra after two years, displayed marvellous skill and strength, in tune with the nature of the character. From the first padam, ‘Kuthravada..Kuthravada…,' itself, Gopi captured the hearts of the packed audience.

Interesting to watch

Gopi's manodharma attam before the padam was noteworthy on account of his free-flowing mudras and bhavas. A captivating ‘ashtakalasam' was performed during the padam ‘Athrayum athalla…' Kalamandalam Balasubramanian's Sreekrishna was a brilliant portrayal. His reactions to Balabhadra's questions were perfect and appropriate.

‘Thoranam' in ‘Thoranayudham' means ‘entrance' and this attakatha narrates Hanuman's voyage to Lanka to find Sita. The play, taken from ‘Thoranayudhamkam' Koodiyattam has Hanuman and Ravana in the lead. Ravana's role in this play is highly structuralised. His entry on stage is visually pleasing. Sadanam Balakrishnan, a disciple of Keezhpadam Kumaran Nair, performed the role of Hanuman. Although his footwork and mudras were not as energetic as it should be, his interpretation of the character was brilliant. Balakrishnan's manodharma attam describing Hanuman crossing the sea in search of Sita was poetic. Vazhenkada Vijayan, son and disciple of Vazhenkada Kunju Nair, enacted the role of Ravana with ease.

He presented two aesthetic manodharma attams, namely, ‘Himakaram…,' which portrays Ravana's infatuation for Sita, and ‘Rajyachutham,' which describes his anger towards Rama. Kalanilayam Vasudevan (Lankalaxmi) and Kalamandalam Kasinathan (Brahmin) were the other artistes.

Madambi Subramanian Nambudiri and Kottakkal Narayanan rendered the lyrics in pure Kathakali format.

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 10:41:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/theatre/stage-for-kathakali/article2923506.ece

Next Story