NAISHADHAM - Nalacharitam Kathakali Festival in Abu Dhabi
The favourite Kathakali play for theatre aficionados and lay audience in Kerala is Unnayi Warrier’s immortal masterpiece Nalacharitam. This play will be performed under the joint auspices of Shakti Theatres Abu Dhabi and Manirang Abu Dhabi for theatre lovers from 22nd – 25th, October 2013 at Kerala Social Center – Abu Dhabi. The show is scheduled to start at 6:30 PM on all the four days. What marks the uniqueness of this production is that for the first time the play will be performed abroad including all the scenes according to the usual practice. No doubt that this will be a rare treat for the audience. It is none other than Padma Shri Kalamandalam Gopi as Nala on stage who will be leading this production which is blessed by accomplished artistes in this field.
Unnayi Varrier wrote Nalacharitam aattakkatha drawing on the ‘Nalopaakhyanaparvam’ in the ‘Vanaparva’ of the Indian epic Mahabharata. In the epic, Yudhishtira is greatly distressed while he is exiled from his rightful kingdom and laments that no one has suffered more. To console Yudhishtira, the sage Brihadaswan narrates the story of King Nala to focus on the greater agony of a man who has lost everything and undergoes intense trials. Unnayi Varrier transformed this story into an exquisite romantic yet dramatic Kathakali play which is performed in four nights.
On the first day, Padmasri Kalamandalam Gopi (Nalan), Kalamandalam Chinosh Balan (Naradan), Kalamandalam Shanmukhan (Hamsam), Margi Vijayakumar (Damayanti), Kalamandalam Vipin, Kalamandalam Adityan (Sakhi) come on stage. The second day of the story features Padmasri Kalamandalam Gopi (Nalan), Margi Vijayakumar (Damayanti), Kalamandalam Bajio, Kalamandalam Vipin, Kalamandalam Adityan (Devas), Kalamandalam Shanmukhan (Pushkaran), Kalamandalam Hari R. Nair (Kali and Kaattalan), and Kalamandalam Chinosh Balan (Dvaparan). On the third day Kalamandalam Gopi dons the role of Bahukan. It also features Kalamandalam Shanmukhan (Nalan and Damayanti), Kalamandalam Hari R Nair (Karkodakan), Kalamandalam Bajio (Rituparnan), Kalamandalam Vipin and Kalamandalam Adityan (Jivala and Varshneya) and Margi Vijayakumar (Sudevan). On the fourth day Kalamandalam Gopi (Bahukan), Margi Vijayakumar (Damayanti) and Kalamandalam Shanmukhan (Kesini) come on stage. The musical accompaniment on all the days is by renowned exponents in the field including Pathiyoor Sankarankutty, Kottakkal Madhu, Kalanilayam Rajeevan (Song), Kalamandalam Krishnadas, and Kalamandalam Venumohan on Chenda, Kalanilayam Manoj, and Kalamandalam Hariharan (Maddalam). The make up and costume is by Kalanilayam Saji, Kalanilayam Manoj, Pallippuram Unnikrishnan, Kannan P Nair and Jayarajan. Sandarsan Kathakali Vidyalayam, Ambalapuzha is the kaliyogam.
Apart from the Kathakali, ‘Cholliattam’ a lecture demonstration will be conducted on 19-20 at Kerala Social Center – Abudhabi from 7:00 PM onwards. Major artists will participate in this event and the discussion will be led by Dr. P. Venugopalan. This is to prepare the audience for a heightened experience of the performance. We invite you to enjoy this four day long festival.