Kathakali fete returns

celebrating Kathakali.  

Not many, other than the 300-odd members of the Kathakali Club will remember this day. Still, the Club celebrates its anniversary without fail.

This year too, the Club will organise two nights of Kathakali at the Kerala Fine Arts Hall on May 9 and 10.

Even while going ahead with the preparations, the organisers say they are not expecting a crowd of more than 600 people. That is a sort of magical figure as every member could bring in one guest.

This year, stories like Rugmangadacharitam, Rugmini Swayamvaram and Keechaka Vadhom will be presented on the first night and Kuchela Vrutham, third day of Nalacharitam and Rambha Pravesam on the second day.

As usual, leading performers such as Kalamandalam Gopi, Kottakkal Sivaram and FACT Padmanabhan will be putting on colours to enthral lovers of this magnificent art.

The charm about functions organised by the Club is that they are very personal. Even the annual celebrations will be so, with no guests being invited to deliver speeches and present awards. It is all done by the family members themselves.

Incidentally, the Club gives away two awards - `Kalahamsam Puraskaram' for the most outstanding actor and `Thouryathrikam Puraskaram' for the most outstanding artiste of the previous year. The second award is given to singers and musicians who play the mridangam and maddalam alternatively - this year it goes to a singer.

As is the practice, the Club has called for recommendations from the public. They can suggest one actor and one singer who were active last year. "We are very particular in honouring only artistes who are performing now. We avoid those who have won awards of the Union Government and Kendra Sangeeta Nataka Akademi as well as our awards,'' said A. D. Krishnan Asan, president of the Club.

The recommendations should reach the president before April 20 and they will be screened by an expert committee to select the winner. "Almost always, the opinion of the expert committee concurs with that of the public.'' No conflicts here.

By Anand Haridas

Photo: Mahesh Harilala