A captivating festival
The Ernakulam Kathakali Club recently completed 47 years.
FIESTA OF KATHAKALI: S. Saratkumar (Siva) and Kottakal Sivaraman (Parvathy) in `Dakshayagom,'
The Ernakulam Kathakali Club, one of the oldest Kathakali Clubs of Kerala, celebrated its 47th anniversary recently. The club's annual Kathakali Festival is an event eagerly awaited by Kathakali enthusiasts and artistes. While the Kathakali fans look forward to seeing outstanding displays of talent and creativity by the artistes, it is an opportunity for the artistes to showcase their talent.
The Club honours an actor and a percussionist every year. This year's `Kalahamsam Puraskaram' was awarded to actor Mathur Govindankutty and `Thouryathrika Puraskaram' was awarded to singer Kalanilayam Unnikrishnan.
This year's festival featured a variety of stories on two nights.
The festival got off to a colourful start with `Nalacharitham' (`Onaam Divasam') with Kalamandalam Gopi as Nalan and Margi Vijayakumar as Damayanti. An accomplished actor, Gopi, in a captivating performance, skilfully portrayed his favourite character. His rapport with the percussionists was superb.
Kalamandalam Gopi (Nalan) and Inchakad Ramachandran Pillai (Hamsam)
Vijayakumar excelled as Damayanti and marvellously brought out the feelings of the character.
Mathur Govindankutty and Inchacad Ramachandran Pillai enthralled spectators in the roles of Narada and Hamsam respectively.
`Rajasooyam' (northern style) was the second play that was performed on the first day and it featured Nelliyode Vasudevan Namboodiri as Jarasandhan and Sadanam Krishnankutty as Sisupalan. Both of them were exceptionally good.
Thripunithura Unnikrishnan, FACT Biju Bhaskar, Elamakkara Ranjith and Sudeendran were the other actors.
The highlight of `Kirmeeravadhom' on the second night was the portrayal of Dharmaputhra by Kalamandalam Balasubramaniam. He was at his best during Elakiyattom and his superb performance adhered to the norms of `Kalluvazhi chitta.' RLV Radhakrishnan, Thripunithura Unnikrishanan, FACT Biju Bhaskar and Elamakkara Ranjith were the other actors.
Sadanam Harikumar, Kalamandalam Ramachandran Unnithan and Elamakkara Ranjith in `Dakshayagom,'
The most memorable performance of the festival was Madavoor Vasudevan Nair's portrayal of Ravana in `Ravana Vijayam.' His portrayal of the passionate Ravana was outstanding.
Versatile actors Mathur Govindankutty and Nambisankutty excelled in the roles of Rambha and Doothan respectively.
The finale of the festival was `Dakshayagom,' featuring Sadanam Harikumar as Daksha, S. Sarathkumar as Sivan and Parvathy by Kottakkal Sivaraman. Vocals were by Kalanilayam Unnikrishnan, Palanad Divakaran, Kalmandam Babu Namboodiri and Nedunulli Rammohan . Percussionists included Kalamandalam Kesavan, Kalamandalam Raman Namboodiri, Kurur Vasudevan Namboodiri, Kalanilayam Kunjooni on the chenda and Kalamandalam Sankara Warrier, Nelluvay Narayanan Nair, Kalamandalam Sasi and Thiruvilluamala Venkitesaran on the madhalam.
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