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Cultural extravaganza

G. JAYAKUMAR

`Nattarivukal' showcased the rich heritage of folk music and dance of Kerala.

PHOTO: S. MAHINSHA

RUSTIC TOUCH: `Nattarivukal' had simultaneous performances of folk art forms performed by various communities in Kerala .

The programme was called `Nattarivukal.' It was a revelation and a reminder to the viewers of the rich heritage of folk music and dance that exists in villages all over Kerala. Over 20 folk art forms were performed.

`Nattarivukal,' conceptualised and produced by `Soorya' Krishnamoorthy, was a major attraction at the district-level inauguration of the Onam celebrations at Kanakakunnu open-air auditorium. The staging of some of K. Raghavan's film melodies that were based on folk music was an interesting feature of the programme.

Malayali folk music

At a time when Malayalam film music was a copy of Hindi and Tamil film songs, it was K. Raghavan who introduced Malayali folk music into films through `Kayalarikathu valayerinjappol' and `Kuyiline thedi' (`Neelakuyil').

The show began with 30 children clad in bright red and yellow dancing on the stage and singing `Malayalathin mallore oru chodyan, Utharam onu paranjaal ningade utsaham kenkemam.' The song was in the form of riddles and answers.

Five Kummati kali performers in colourful headgear dancing alongside the children followed this. An interesting aspect of the programme was the simultaneous performance of folk art forms such as Oppana, Margam kali and Pooram kali usually performed by various religious communities in the State. These dances were set to the same music suggesting communal harmony through musical harmony. Oppana artistes entered on stage from a temple set on the stage. A group of boys joined the dancers with daffu mutt paattu. A Margam kali was performed by nine dancers dressed in the traditional chatta and mundu. In the Pooram kali, boys sang `Pooram vanallo' - all suggestive of a feeling of oneness, cutting across artificial barriers of caste and religion.

Folk dances were performed on the stage to songs tuned by K. Raghavan. The songs included `Konna poove kingini poove,' `Ellarum chollane,' and `Cheppukilukane changathi.'

The song and dance drama Chavittunatakam was also appealing. Attired in royal robes, the actors stamped their feet and moved their bodies in tandem with the singing and the beating of the chenda.

The other folk art forms presented included Arjunanpaattu, Bhootam kali, Thirayattu, Thiruvathira, Velakali, Mayilpeelinrutham, Shingarimelam, Theyyam and Padayani.

The programme climaxed with all the art forms being performed at the same time to the vibrant rhythm of the chendamelam.

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