Veteran's enthralling performance
Bombay Gopalakrishnan showcased his expertise by enacting two very different roles.
It is quite unusual for a Kathakali actor to enact the roles of Vella thadi and Minukku.
LAMENT OF KUNTHI: Kalamandalam C. Gopalakrishnan as Kunthi in `Prithavishadam.'
`Lavanasuravadhami,' and `Prithavishadam,' which were staged in Thiruvananthapuram, last week were significant on account of the theme and the performers.
The main performer in both the plays was Kalamandalam C. Gopalakrishnan, popularly known as `Bombay Gopalakrishnan.' Gopalakrishnan, a senior artiste at Nalanda, an organisation led by dancer Kanak Rele in Mumbai, a graduate of Kerala Kalamandalam. He trained under stalwarts such as Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair and Kalamandalam Gopi.
Gopalakrishnan is an integral part of Mumbai's cultural fabric. His interests are not limited to Kathakali; they also extend to Mohiniyattam and Carnatic music. He has choreographed several dance-dramas with the right blend of Kathakali and Mohiniyattom. He now trains students in Mohiniyattom and Kathakali.
Gopalakrishnan's portrayal of Hanuman in `Lavanasuravadham' and Kunthi in `Prithavishadam' was immaculate. It is quite unusual for a Kathakali actor to enact the roles of Vella thadi and Minukku (Stree). But he managed both with controlled acting and effective expressions. The performance of Kalamandalam Venkittaraman and Kalamandalam Suryanarayanan in the lead roles of Lava and Kusha in `Lavanasuravadham' was appreciated by the audience.
Haripriya Namboodiri in the role of Sita was a class apart. Kalamandalam Mukundan's role as Shatrugnan was applauded by the audience.
`Prithavishadam' - a new Attakatha written by Namangalam Madhavan and choreographed by Gopalakrishnan - is a monologue, which expresses the lament of Kunthi.
The story begins after the Mahabharata battle. Although the Pandavas have won,Kunthi is restless because on her visit to the battlefield, she sees heartrending scenes of women wailing for their dead husbands, sons or brothers; pitiful cries for help from wounded warriors; and rivers of blood. This is when she realises that revenge is the cause of all the destruction. Gopalakrishnan skilfully portrayed Kunthi'semotions .
Namangalam Madhavan who is a scientist in Indian Space Research Organisation is the author of this story. He has authored other two Attakathas `Ravanaputhri and `Pingala.'
Kalamandalam Gireesan's rendition of the lyrics was effective as he imbued the lyrics with the right emotions, and the selection of the ragas was flawless. Gireesan, a graduate of Kalamandalam, also works at Nalanda as a music teacher.
He was a disciple of Kalamandalam Gangadharan. Nedumballi Ram Mohan, an up-and-coming musician, gave good support to Gireesan.
Margi Ratnakaran accompanied on the maddalam, with Kalamandalam Sreekanth on the edakka.
`Lavanasuravadhami,' was organised by Drisyavedi and `Prithavishadam,' was organised by Media Magic.
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