Maestros at their best
T. K. Sadasivan
`Naishadham 2005' was a treat for fans of Kathakali.
The enactment of the play, `Nalacharitham' by the masters was a rare opportunity for Kathakali fans to watch the play in its entirety. The play was enacted over a period of four consecutive evenings. Most of the scenes of the play were enacted as part of `Naishadham 2005,' the four-day Kathakali fiesta organised at Kerala Fine Arts Hall, in Ernakulam by Preserve Heritage Kerala Foundation.
Written by Unnayi Warrier, `Nalacharitham' fascinates Kathakali fans more than any other play as it gives ample scope for improvisation, thus bringing the best out of the actors.
Kalamandalam Gopi as Nalan
The most remarkable feature of `Naishadham 2005,' was that spectators could watch Kalamandalam Gopi, whosename has become a synonym for Nalan, portray Nalan's role on all the four days. It was amazing to watch the master performer portray the role of `Nalan' on the first two days and the role of `Bahukan' on the third and fourth day. He was at his best during `Elakiyattom' and by applying manodhrama he enthralled the spectators. With apt facial expressions, precise eye movements and eloquent body language he held the spectators spellbound.
Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair's portrayal of `Kattalan,' `Damayanti' by Kottakkal Sivraman (on the first and the last day) and `Kali' by Nelliyodu Vasudevan Namboodiri were outstanding. The actors excelled in the roles. The other remarkable performances were by Margi Vijayakumar (as Damayanti on the second day), Kalamandalam Sreekumar (as Narada on the first day and Nala on the third day), Kalamandalam Krishnakumar (as Pushkaran), Kalamandalam Shanmughan (as Damayanti on the third day and Kesini), FACT Padmanabhan (as Hamsam and Sudhevan) and RLV Radhakrishnan (as Rituparnan).
OF LOVE AND VALOUR: Scenes from 'Nalacharitham'.
But some of the actors in roles of lesser importance lacked the expertise of the masters. `Naishadham 2005' also featured the best musicians.
Kalanilayam Unnikrishnan, Patthiyur Sankarankutty, Kalamandalam Hyder Ali and Kalamandalam Sankaran Embranthiri were the lead singers on the four days respectively. Rendering of padams like `Kundinanayaka,' `Samyamakanna,' `Khoravipinam,' and `Poomathinothaa' were remarkable. Kottakkal Madhu, Kalamandalam Babu Namboothiri and Kalamandalam Rajeev provided vocal support. The percussionists Kalamandalam Unnikrishanan and Kalamandalam Krishnadas on chenda and Kalamandalam Sankara Warrier on the maddalam supported the actors well. Varanasi Narayanan Namboodiri (chenda) and Kalamandalam Sasi (madalam) were the other percussionists.
There was a thayambaka by Mattannur Sankarankutty, accompanied by his sons, Sreekanth and Sreeraj on the evening of the second day.
Send this article to Friends by
Chennai and Tamil Nadu