An night of Kathakali and percussion showcased a whole Purappadu, a single Melappadam and a efficiency of Ravanolbhavam
The new theme in 2021 goes again to fundamentals, stated Kathakali artist Peesappilli Rajeevan. And that is what this age calls for from artists — to construct one thing exquisitely lovely, pure, and unostentatious on a robust and easy basis, stated Rajeevan. The occasion that occasioned these remarks was Purappadu with “naalu nokku” and a “single” Melappadam that had gone out of vogue in current occasions.
It was classic Kathakali fare organised by a casual group of aficionados at Kunnamkulam, Thrissur, just lately. The night began with the total Purappad with its 4 segments. It was adopted by one other unusual sight — the “single” Melappadam or the musical ensemble with just one set of percussionists. This was adopted by the play Ravanolbhavam.
Purappad, the normal opening pure dance piece, by Kottakkal Pradeep and Kottakkal Shijith, was pleasing to the eyes. Divided into 4 segments, and embellished by quite a lot of kalashams in several rhythmic patterns from the slow-paced to the brisk, it showcased the structurally disciplined and advanced footwork and physique language of Kathakali. The percussion help by senior artists Kalamandalam Unnikrishnan on the chenda and Kottakkal Ravi on the maddalam helped the 40-minute Purappad scale aesthetic heights.
The Melappadam that adopted, in a little bit over 50 minutes, can solely be described as traditional that might have introduced again previous recollections to many viewers. Vocal music by Kottakkal Narayanan and Kalanilayam Rajeevan was pristine and stuffed with gravitas, devoid of meandering essays. The completely different phases of the Melappadam, with rhythmic patterns performed alternately by the 2 devices, stood out for his or her readability and purity of sound. Both Unnikrishnan and Ravi, who’re brothers, matched one another beat for beat.
Ravanolbhavam, the place the smug and boastful Ravana narrates the story of his success, is a power-packed and action-filled, two-hour saga. One huge problem for the artist right here is pacing himself and conserving his vitality stage. Kottakkal Kesavan Kundalayar managed it brilliantly as was evident proper by means of from his thiranokku or entry to the excellently executed Nalaratti kalasam on the finish.
The means the 61-year-old Kundalayar constructed up the tempo slowly until the core of the tapassattam or penance — the place Ravana chops of all his heads however one and affords them to the hearth — was a connoisseur’s delight and a lesson for a budding artist. What lifts Ulbhavam out of the peculiar is the percussion crew. Unnikrishnan and Ravi once more didn’t disappoint. They have been effectively supported by Kalamandalam Sudheesh on the chenda and Kalamandalam Aneesh on the maddalam. Kalanilayam Sanjay supplied vocal help.
Kalamandalam Sreeram and Kottakkal Pradeep appeared briefly roles as Kumbhakarna and Vibheeshana respectively. Performed in entrance of a restricted viewers following COVID-19 protocol, the streaming video drew a lot of viewers. A optimistic fallout from the pandemic is that each Kathakali organisers and viewers have tailored to the most recent know-how and acoustics, although this has pushed up the price of programming.
The programme, the fourth by the casual group, was organised in collaboration with Kunnamkulam Kathakali Club. The group’s predominant goal was to attempt to fill the vacuum created by the pandemic, stated its anchor Nandakumar Cheramangalath.