Involved recital by Kapila
Kapila Venu's conscious effort to perform obscure items went down well with the audience.
Trying out new formats.
EVEN THOUGH the Kalamandalam faction has not taken too kindly towards the numerous Mohiniyattom dancers from other States, Mohiniyattom has gone on to attain a national appeal with increasing number of youngsters taking it seriously and making it a profession.
Kapila Venu, daughter of Nirmala Panicker and Koodiyattom artiste Venu, gave a performance at the Kerala Fine Arts Society. Guided by her mother, Kapila chose to deviate from the regular format to include different and even obscure items.
`Poli' was an invocation to different forms of the mother goddess Neeli, Kali and Rudra. The language of the lyrics was rustic and the music was set in the `sopanam' style. `Geethayothiya Govindan,' `varnam' in Saramathi raga, choreographed by Nirmala Panicker, was the next item. It showed the passion of the `nayika' for Krishna. Kapila depicted Arjuna's confusion, the display of the colossal form of the God and the humiliation of Panchali dramatically. But Kalamandalam Jayaprakash's sense of tune and rhythm left much to be desired. The `vakra sangatis' in the vocals of the `pallavi' reduced the appeal of the piece.
Kapila was very involved while performing this piece. But when she tried to attain a balance and restraint in her abhinaya, her stage presence suffered. The meticulous eye movements and shifting of gazes were crisp and calculated. The episode of Panchali involving male characters, which demanded more drama, suffered when the dancer refused to part with her coy ways.
`Balakarthyayani Saptham' is derived from `Kumarsambhavam,' and Gopika, another disciple of Nirmala Panicker, gave expression to Sati's sacrifice and Parvati's childhood. This was presented as a ragamalika in `Atana,' `Kalyani,' `Vasantha' and `Desh.'
`Chandanam,' another unique piece, was set to `ayyadi' thalam. The dancer alludes to the incident where Shiva drinks poison to protect humanity and the application of `kalabham' from the divine chest of Vishnu saves him. It also cures sickness out of love. So, for all good ends, everyone is urged to try it. This was indeed amusing as the dancer, carrying the `kurikoottu,' auspiciously concluded the performance by sprinkling rose water on the audience, accompanied by the strains of the shehnai.
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