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artograph

A NEWNMEDIA™ PUBLICATION

2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05


A BI-MONTHLY, BILINGUAL E-MAGAZINE FOCUSING ON ARTS | PUBLISHED BY NEWNMEDIA™ FROM KERALA, INDIA | 2019 SEP - OCT VOLUME 01 ISSUE 05 | PAGES: 20 | HTTP://ARTOGRAPH.NEWNMEDIA.IN

P12
Mighty roles
The distinctive roles of Arjuna, Shishupala, and
Duryodhana glistened in the annual ‘Kerala
Natyothsavam’ Kathakali festival by Drisyavedi.

P05 P07
A guru of Soulful
generations narratives
Meet the veteran dance guru Girija Chandran, The 2019 edition of the ‘Music & Dance Festival’
whose institution is one of the pioneering dance by Soorya India featured a few of the eminent
and music training centre in the capital city. Bharatanatyam dancers.

P17 P18 P19


Display of talent Workshop Making a mark of
and dexterity musings her own
Gopika Raj Pillai has created an impression for Times have changed, and so does the way Devaki Rajendran proved her mettle as a
herself with a vibrant performance during her of organizing dance workshops; says dancer Bharatanatyam dancer during her performance
Rangapravesam. Parshwanath S. Upadhye. in the capital city.
2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
EDITORIAL | 02

It's time we pay for the arts


When the artists fail to make their livelihood, eventually,
the art will fade down.

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.


KALAMANDALAM GOPI - Milton Friedman
in the role of Arjuna during the staging of
‘Subhadraharanam’ Kathakali organized by
Drisyavedi, T’puram. (Photo: Priyanka B.)

CONTRIBUTORS T he idiom is supposed to be universally true. However, how far it is


relevant in the Indian context, especially when it comes to classical
dance and other art forms, is a question worth exploring. Often artists
TEXTS
KOTTAKKAL RANJITH WARRIER are forced to perform for free, and sometimes even worse, they will
PARSHWANATH S. UPADHYE have to pay the organizers to get a stage to perform!
SETHUNATH U.N.
In the last couple of months, there has been a lot of fuss around this
PHOTOS trend. Since it is particularly evident in the dance sector, there have
PRIYANKA B. | MANOJ KRISHNA been a lot of voices heard from the field. One solution that many
EDITORIAL TEAM were advocating is not to pay for getting the stage, and only perform
CHIEF EDITOR if there's enough remuneration. While this is a way to deal with the
HAREESH N. NAMPOOTHIRI situation, how far it will be practically possible is doubtful.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR
The simple fact is, the dance scene is rapidly changing. A decade
PRIYANKA B.
back, we had only a few senior dancers and a handful of promising
MEMBERS
MEERA SREENARAYANAN youngsters. But now, those youngsters are also grown to be seniors,
NAVYA VINOD | SETHUNATH U.N. and the number of youngsters has increased exponentially. Many
VANI SANKAR of them are talented and are serious about taking up dance as their
LEAD PHOTOGRAPHY career. However, it's not easy to get noticed and reach the frontline.
HAREE FOTOGRAFIE
Though there are more dancers out there, the available stages or
http://fb.me/haree.fotografie
opportunities haven't seen a proportional increase. While talent is
DESIGN & LAYOUT
NEWNMEDIA™
a requirement, a decent amount of marketing and networking also
http://fb.me/newnmedia seem to be the need of the hour.
These all bring back to the question again, what will be a feasible
solution? Unfortunately, there's not an easy way out, and it will be hard
for individual dancers or even small organizations to bring a change.
Except for a few, many organizations struggle to raise the fund for
events. Government funding has also come down in recent years. As
these are not crowd pullers, getting sponsors is also not easy.
One way to move forward is making the audience pay for watching
the performances. Since they are so used to free meals, it may not
be that easy. But art can't sustain at the expense of the artists, that's
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2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
03 | MEMOIR artograph

ചന്ദ്രായനം
പച്ചവേഷങ്ങളിലും കത്തിവേഷങ്ങളിലും ഒരുപ�ോലെ തിളങ്ങി,
അരങ്ങും കളരിയും ഒരുപ�ോലെ നയിച്ച്, തനിക്കാശ്രയമേകിയ
ക�ോട്ടക്കലെന്ന സ്ഥാപനത്തിനു തിരികെയും തണലായി,
ആറു പതിറ്റാണ്ടോളം അരങ്ങത്തു സജീവമായി നിലക�ൊണ്ടു
ക�ോട്ടക്കൽ ചന്ദ്രശേഖര വാര്യർ എന്ന കഥകളി കലാകാരൻ.
ക�ോട്ടക്കൽ രഞ്ജിത്ത് വാര്യർ

രാ യിരനെല്ലൂർ എന്ന വള്ളുവനാടൻ ഗ്രാമത്തിൽ, വായനശാലയും


കലാസമിതിയുമ�ൊക്കെയായി സാമൂഹ്യ പ്രവർത്തനങ്ങൾ നടത്തി
യിരുന്ന കുമാരസ്വാമി ഭട്ടതിരിപ്പാടിന്റെ മകന് ആറാം തരത്തിൽ പഠിക്കു
മ്പോളാണ് ആദ്യമായി മികച്ച അഭിനേതാവിനുള്ള സമ്മാനം ലഭിക്കുന്നത്.
'നീതിയില്ലാത്ത നിയമം' എന്ന നാടകത്തിലെ അഭിനയത്തിന്. 1957-ൽ
ചെത്തല്ലൂർ കുട്ടപ്പണിക്കരുടെ കീഴിൽ കഥകളി പഠനമാരംഭിച്ച് അരങ്ങേറ്റം
കഴിഞ്ഞപ്പോഴേക്കും ആ പന്ത്രണ്ടു വയസ്സുകാരന്റെ മനസ്സിൽ വേഷക്കാര
നാകാനുള്ള മ�ോഹം കലശലായിരുന്നു. അരങ്ങേറ്റം കഴിഞ്ഞുള്ള ആദ്യ
അവസരമ�ോ, കുഞ്ചുനായരാശാന്റെ നിർദ്ദേശപ്രകാരം വാഴേങ്കടയിൽ
ഒരു പുറപ്പാടും.
ക�ോട്ടക്കലിലെ യുവപ്രതിഭ
പതിനാലാം വയസ്സിൽ, അച്ഛനുമമ്മയും (പാറുക്കുട്ടി വാരസ്യാർ) ഏഴു
സഹ�ോദരങ്ങളും അടങ്ങുന്ന കുടുംബത്തിൽ നിന്ന് ക�ോട്ടക്കൽ
പി.എസ്.വി. നാട്യസംഘത്തിലേക്ക് ചന്ദ്രശേഖരനെത്തിയപ്പോൾ, ഒരു
നിയ�ോഗമെന്നോണം ച�ൊല്ലിയാടിച്ച് ന�ോക്കിയതും തിരഞ്ഞെടുത്തതും
വാഴേങ്കട കുഞ്ചു നായർ തന്നെ. പടിക്കൽ വാരിയത്തെ
ചന്ദ്രശേഖരൻ എന്ന കുട്ടിക്ക് 1134 കർക്കിടകം 6-ന് അഭ്യാസം
ആരംഭിച്ചുവെന്ന് ആശാൻ തന്റെ ഡയറിയിൽ കുറിച്ചിട്ടു. പിന്നീട്
ച�ൊല്ലിയാട്ടം തുടങ്ങിയതും കൂടെ ച�ൊല്ലിയാടിച്ചതും എല്ലാം
'മനയ�ോലപ്പാടുകൾ' എന്ന ജീവിതകഥയിൽ വായിച്ചെടുക്കാം.
ഗുരുനാഥനായ പട്ടിക്കാംത�ൊടി രാമുണ്ണി മേന�ോൻ സ്വീക
രിച്ചിരുന്ന അഭ്യാസരീതികൾ അതേപടി, എന്നാൽ
സമയക്രമത്തിൽ മാത്രം ചില മാറ്റങ്ങള�ോടെയാണ്
കുഞ്ചു നായർ നടപ്പിലാക്കിയിരുന്നത്. കൃഷ്ണൻകുട്ടി
നായർ, ഗ�ോപി നായർ, അപ്പു നായർ, മാങ്ങോട്ട്
നാരായണൻ നായർ എന്നിവരുമുണ്ടാ
യിരുന്നു ആശാന്മാരായി അന്നവിടെ.
പിൽക്കാലത്ത് ചന്ദ്രശേഖര വാര്യർ
തന്റെ ശിഷ്യരിൽ പ്രയ�ോഗിച്ച
പല അധ്യാപന രീതകളും ഈ

2015 ഡിസംബറിൽ
മാത്തൂർ കളരിയുടെ
ആഭിമുഖ്യത്തിൽ
അരങ്ങേറിയ
'ബാലിവിജയ'ത്തി
■ HAREE FOTOGRAFIE

ലെ രാവണനായി
ക�ോട്ടക്കൽ
ചന്ദ്രശേഖര
വാര്യർ.
artograph 2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
MEMOIR | 04
കാലഘട്ടത്തിലെ ഇവരിൽ നിന്നുള്ള അനുഭവങ്ങളുടെ പശ്ചാത്തലത്തിലാ പ�ോലെയുള്ള മുതിർന്നവർക്ക് ശേഖ
യിരുന്നു. രന്റെ കൂട്ടുവേഷം സമ്മതമായി.
കുഞ്ചു നായരാശാനും ചില ശിഷ്യരും കലാമണ്ഡലത്തിലേക്ക് പ�ോയത�ോടെ തെക്കും വടക്കുമുള്ള സമകാലികരാ
യാണ് കൃഷ്ണൻകുട്ടി നായരാശാന്റെ നേതൃത്വത്തിൽ ക�ോട്ടക്കലിൽ ഒരു യവരുടെ കൂടെയുള്ള അരങ്ങുകളും
യജ്ഞമാരംഭിക്കുന്നത്. പി.എസ്.വി. നാട്യസംഘം എന്ന കഥകളി സംഘ മൂപ്പിളമ ന�ോക്കാതെ പരസ്പരധാര
ത്തിന്റെ നിലനിൽപ്പിനും വളർച്ചക്കും വേണ്ടി അന്ന് ആശാന്മാർ കളരിയിലും ണയ�ോടെ അദ്ദേഹം ആസ്വാദ്യകര
അരങ്ങിലും നടത്തിയ നിരന്തരമായ അത്യദ്ധ്വാനത്തിന്റെ ഫലമായി മാക്കി. ഇളമുറക്കാർ ചന്ദ്രാശാന�ോ
സംഘത്തിനും വിദ്യാർത്ഥികൾക്കും പൂർണ്ണത കൈവന്നു. ആ പതിനാറ് ട�ൊപ്പമുള്ള അരങ്ങുകളിൽ അനു
വർഷങ്ങളാണ് ചന്ദ്രശേഖരൻ എന്ന വേഷക്കാരന്റെ കലാജീവിതത്തിൽ ഭവിച്ച തൃപ്തിയും സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യവും മറച്ചു
വലിയ�ൊരു വഴിത്തിരിവായത്. നായകഗുണമുള്ള ഒരു നടനെ വളർത്തി വെച്ചില്ല. എന്തിന്, പെട്ടിക്കാർക്ക്
യെടുക്കേണ്ടത് അന്ന് സംഘത്തിന്റെ ആവശ്യമായിരുന്നു. ഗതിയില്ലാ പ�ോലുമുണ്ടാവും പറയാൻ പല നല്ല
തെയ�ോ ഗതിമാറിയ�ോ അല്ലാതെ കഥകളിക്കാരനാവാൻ വേണ്ടിത്തന്നെ അനുഭവങ്ങളും. പ്രതിഭയുള്ള കലാ
മ�ോഹിച്ചു വന്നുചേർന്ന ഉൽസാഹിയായ ശേഖരനെക്കുറിച്ച് ആര്യവൈദ്യ കാരന് ത�ൊഴിലിൽ അനിശ്ചിതാ
ശാലയിലെ ഭരണാധികാരികൾക്കും നല്ല മതിപ്പായി. അഭ്യാസകാലത്തിൽ വസ്ഥ വരില്ലല്ലോ? അതിനാലാവാം,
ഒരു വർഷത്തെ ഇളവ�ോടെ ക�ോട്ടക്കൽ ചന്ദ്രശേഖരൻ നാട്യസംഘത്തിലെ തനിക്കു ചുറ്റുമുള്ളവരുടെ വളർ
സ്ഥിരാംഗമായി. അവിടെ തുടങ്ങുന്നു ഈ കഥകളിക്കാരന്റെ ജൈത്രയാത്ര. ച്ചയിൽ അദ്ദേഹത്തിന് ലവലേശം
പ്രധാനവേഷങ്ങൾ പലതും ചെറുപ്പത്തിൽ തന്നെ കെട്ടിയാടി. ഒപ്പം പുതിയ ആശങ്കയ�ോ ആകുലതയ�ോ ത�ോന്നി
തായി ചേരുന്ന കുട്ടികൾക്ക് ചുഴിപ്പ്, കലാശം, ഇളകിയാട്ടം, കുട്ടിത്തരം യതുമില്ല.
പദങ്ങൾ എന്നിവ ചെയ്യിക്കാനും തുടങ്ങി. ലക്ഷണമ�ൊത്ത മുഖവും, നടപ്പുള്ള കഥകളിലെ എല്ലാ ആദ്യാ
അയത്നലളിതമായ രസാവിഷ്കാരവും, ക�ോട്ടക്കലിന്റെ ക�ോപ്പുകളണിഞ്ഞ് വസാന പച്ച കത്തി വേഷങ്ങളും
അരങ്ങ് നിറഞ്ഞുനിൽക്കുന്ന വേഷഭംഗിയും കാരണമായി ചുരുങ്ങിയ അദ്ദേഹം സ്ഥിരമായി കൈകാര്യം
കാലത്തിൽ തന്നെ ഈ നടന് വലിയ�ൊരു ആസ്വാദകവൃന്ദമുണ്ടായി. ചെയ്തിരുന്നു. കൂടാതെ നാട്യസംഘ
ആരെയും മുഷിപ്പിക്കാത്ത വാക്കും പെരുമാറ്റവും സഹൃദയരിലും ത്തിൽത്തന്നെ ചിട്ടപ്പെടുത്തിയതും
സംഘാടകരിലും അദ്ദേഹത്തെ കൂടുതൽ സ്വീകാര്യനുമാക്കി. പുറമെയുള്ളതുമായ നിരവധി കഥക
ളിലെ ഒന്നാംതരം വേഷങ്ങൾക്ക്
മികവുറ്റ വേഷങ്ങൾ തന്റെ അരങ്ങുപരിചയവും ഭാവന
പ്രായം നാൽപ്പത്തിയഞ്ച് കഴിഞ്ഞത�ോടെ യും ക�ൊണ്ട് അദ്ദേഹം മിഴിവേകി.
കേരളത്തിൽ ഏറ്റവും തിരക്കുള്ള ആദ്യാ രുഗ്മാംഗദന്റേയും കർണ്ണന്റേയും
വസാന വേഷക്കാരിൽ ഒരാളായി രണ്ടാം ദിവസം നളന്റേയുമ�ൊക്കെ
ക�ോട്ടക്കൽ ചന്ദ്രശേഖര വാര്യർ. പ്രാണദുഖവും, നരകാസുരന്റേയും
ബഹുമതികളും പുരസ്കാരങ്ങളും ഒന്നിനു ദുര്യോധനന്റേയുമ�ൊക്കെ രൗദ്രവും
പിറകെ ഒന്നായി അദ്ദേഹത്തെ തേടി ഹാസ്യവും, അതിനിടയിൽ സഞ്ചാ
യെത്തി. സ്വാഭാവികമായും വിമർശന രിയായി വരുന്ന തികഞ്ഞ പുച്ഛവു
ങ്ങളുമുണ്ടായി. രണ്ടും അദ്ദേഹം സഹജ മെല്ലാം ഒരു നടനിൽ നിന്നുതന്നെ
മായ നിറചിരികള�ോടെ ഏറ്റുവാങ്ങി. കാണുന്നത് കാണികളെ അത്ഭുത
തന്റെ ശക്തിയും ദൗർബല്യങ്ങളും എന്താ പ്പെടുത്തി. 'ബാലിവിജയ'ത്തിലെ
ണെന്ന് മറ്റാരേക്കാളും അദ്ദേഹത്തിന് 'കരവിംശതി'യിൽ രാവണന്റെ മുഖ
തന്നെ ബ�ോധ്യമുണ്ടായിരുന്നു. എന്നാൽ ങ്ങളിൽ തെളിയുന്ന ക�ോപവും
■ HAREE FOTOGRAFIE

അണിയറയിൽ നിന്നൊരുങ്ങിവരുന്ന ദു:ഖവും, രണ്ടും കലർന്ന ഈർ


ആ വേഷത്തിന്റെ പ്രൗഡിക്കു മുന്നിൽ ഷ്യയും ഏറ്റവും പിൻനിരയിലിരി
വിമർശകർ വഴിമാറിനിന്നു. ക്കുന്ന കാണികളിലേക്ക് പ�ോലും
പിന്നിൽ നിന്ന് പറഞ്ഞ നസ്യ സംവേദനം ചെയ്യപ്പെട്ടു. കീചകനും
ങ്ങളത്രയും ആദ്യ അലർച്ച 'രംഭാപ്രവേശം' രാവണനുമെല്ലാം
യുടെ പ്രഭാവത്തിൽത്തന്നെ സംഭ�ോഗ ശൃംഗാരത്തിന്റെ മൂർത്തീ
നിസ്സാരങ്ങളായി. ദ�ോഷം രൂപങ്ങളായപ്പോഴും ആട്ടത്തിലും
മാത്രം പറയാൻ വന്നിരു ന�ോട്ടത്തിലുമെല്ലാം കഥാപാത്രങ്ങ
ന്നവർ, തിരന�ോക്കുന്ന ളുടെ താൻപ�ോരിമ നിറഞ്ഞുനിന്നു.
ആ രാജസപ്രതാപത്തെ പാടി രാഗത്തോട് ശ്രുതിചേർത്ത്,
ഇമവെട്ടാതെ ന�ോക്കി കീഴ്നിരപ്പല്ല് കാട്ടിയുള്ള അലർച്ച
യിരുന്നു. കലാമണ്ഡലം പ�ോലും സാധാരണക്കാരായ
രാമൻകുട്ടി നായർ പ്രേക്ഷകരെ CONTINUED ON PAGE 16 ►

2012 നവംബറിൽ തിരുവനന്തപുരത്ത് കേളീരവത്തിന്റെ


ആഭിമുഖ്യത്തിൽ അവതരിപ്പിച്ച ‘നളചരിതം മൂന്നാം
ദിവസ’ത്തിൽ ബാഹുകനായി ചന്ദ്രശേഖര വാര്യർ.
2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
05 | ART COLLOQUY artograph

A guru of generationss
Meet the veteran dance guru Girija Chandran, whose Regatta Nātya Sangeetha
Kendra is one of the pioneering dance and music training centre in the capital city.
PRIYANKA B.

G irija Chandran acquired training under doyens


like Vempati Chinna Satyam and Adyar K.
Lakshman but chose a teaching career than being
which learning must not have been affordable
those days. My Kuchipudi classes would begin at
8 in the morning, and it lasted till the afternoon.
a performer. Popularly known as Girija teacher Afterward, I had my Bharatanatyam class at Adayar
in the dance circuit, she has trained countless until 8 at night. There was no option of going home
students in the past four decades through Regatta in between, and the little nap at a shed of my guru's
Nātya Sangeetha Kendra, her institution. A recipient residence was the only relaxation. He taught pure
of many accolades like Natyopasana Puraskar, art, and it was from him, I learned how humble a
Kalasagar award, and Naatya Druma Puraskar, here guru could be. He had great affection for me even
she speaks of her extraordinary career in dance. though I did not choose a performing career.
As everyone knows, Guru Vempati was instrumental
Q: When did you realize that your career is in giving Kuchipudi its present depth and beauty.
in dance, that too in teaching and not of a We, his students, always looked upon him with
performer? respect and fear. My Mohiniyattam is hugely inspired
I was born and brought up in a family that had by the Kathakali maestro
great reverence for arts. My grandfather C.I. Gopala Nelliyode Vasudevan
Pillai was associated with Kathakali, and our house Namboodiri, and
resounded in music and poetry during his days. I take his advice
When I turned seven, my father initiated me into even today while
dancing under Kalakshetra Bhaskar. Later, he composing
brought home guru Suchindram M.M. Pillai to train new items. My
both myself and my sister. association with
Right from the beginning, I proved to be a quick Dhananjayans
learner and could learn a dance piece by seeing
it just once. I was very lean, and the way actors
and dancers looked in those days made me
believe that I'm not meant to be a performer.
Also, the choice of a performing career in dance
was looked down upon in those days. I recall
■ PRIYANKA B.

school times, wherein my music teacher gave


me the confidence to train younger students for
anniversary functions. I did not know much then,
but always there had been an instinct to select
new songs and set them to dance myself. The
tryst with dance continued, and now I am here
in this position.
Q: You have received training in multiple
dance forms. Mastering the art from
doyens must have been an enriching
experience.
Definitely! After marriage, I moved to
Chennai for professional training in
dance. There I was trained in Kuchipudi
under Vempati Chinna Satyam and
Bharatanatyam under Adyar K.
Lakshman. Thanks to my sister-in-
law, who provided for the stay, without
artograph 2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
ART COLLOQUY | 06
began since the 25th anniversary of Regatta, and middle-aged people alike. Teaching the latter
there is almost nothing I could not learn from them. may not be that easy. How do you manage both
Most of the choreographies I teach are by them, effortlessly?
and I have the liberty to contact them to discuss
the intricacies. While most of the institutes train youngsters, I went
a step ahead and started teaching aged women
Q: Regatta is entering its 47th year. Looking back, also. It all began in 2007 when a nearly 60-year-old
how do you recount its contribution to the field woman approached me for learning dance. Later,
a few of her colleagues also joined, and two years
of performing arts? later, I equipped all of them for stage performance.
Regatta cultural society started in 1972 with the Now we have 75 elderly women, and every year we
recognition of the social welfare board for training organize a separate dance festival titled ‘Grihanayika’
young women in typewriting, bookbinding, tailoring, to showcase their talents. Some people approach
music, and dance. Later it was renamed to Regatta intending to burn their fat alone. But once they get
Natya Sangeetha Kendra as the focus shifted to acquainted with my methodology, they all are keen
dance and music alone. Over the past four decades, to dance. Those who are unable to learn classical
we have trained several students, and many of them items, I at least make them do a Thiruvathirakali.
are established dancers/teachers in different parts
of the country. Based on specific norms, we waive Q: How do you select a student for training in a
the fee for talented but needy students of Regatta. particular dance form? What are the qualities
Some of them are from Nehru Yuva Kendra and expected of an ideal dancer?
Sree Chithra home. Another uniqueness is that after
completing the formal training, Regatta also offers Until the age of seven, I teach students only folk
teaching practice to the students. We train students dance. Thereafter according to their choice, I train
for a lifetime, and the course provided is certified them in classical items. Dancing unlike any other
under Anna University. vocation requires prolonged study that extends
over an entire lifetime. Be ready to make sacrifices.
Q: Girija teacher is the first guru of many Read extensively. Respect for guru is very important,
prominent dancers. and learners should develop the habit of watching
classical performances on a regular basis.
I am proud of the fact that Regatta has given birth
to many gifted dancers. Neena Prasad joined me Q: Almost all the major dance and music
when she was just three and continued here for festivals in the city kickstart with the group
almost 14 years. Another favorite of mine, Methil
performance of regatta students, and they
Devika is indeed a gem, noted for her scholarly
approach towards dance. She began by spending seem to be trained to perform for short notice.
her school vacations here and later joined regular Regatta is the sole choice of most, if not all, public
classes when she settled here in the city. Gopika organizations when it comes to presenting the
Varma, Sithara Balakrishnan, and the list go on. theme songs of art festivals. Thanks to Saraswathy
Malhotra, the dancer who gave
Q: Regatta offers training for youngsters and Kerala’s folk dance its present CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 ►
■ HAREE FOTOGRAFIE
2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
07 | OPINION artograph

Soulful narratives
The 2019 edition of the 'Music & Dance Festival' by Soorya India featured a few of
the eminent Bharatanatyam dancers.
HAREESH N. NAMPOOTHIRI

T he dance segment of the ‘Music and Dance Festival’ organized by


Soorya India as part of their ongoing Soorya Festival turned out
to be a celebration of Bharatanatyam, as it featured dancers only
from the repertoire following discrete styles and having variant
abilities. The opening recital was by Meenakshi Srinivasan.
Meenakshi Srinivasan
A heroine so much in love and devotion, realizes the one
who she is in search of is within herself; Meenakshi Srinivasan
breathed life being the protagonist in the Tanjore Quartet
varnam in raga Kapi. Being a natural dancer herself, it was the
crispness that made the dance sequences attractive. However,
the fast-paced segments felt hastened, and the usual clarity
slightly missing. Earlier, Meenakshi began her recital with Swathi
Thirunal’s “Bhogindra sayinam...”, in which she elegantly inter-
preted the one who reclines on the serpent-king.
The woman in the Kshetrayya padam “Kodi kusenayyayyo...”,
is not happy with the crowing of a rooster while she intends
to spend an elaborate night with her lover. The song is a light-
hearted one, and Meenakshi’s take of the heroine in all her
niggles was flawless. Krishna conciliating the hostile Radha
in the Jayadeva ashtapadi “Priye charuseele...” rendered
in raga Madhukauns took the audience to a different
mood altogether, which she managed equally well.
A thillana composed by Rajkumar Bharathi in raga
Desh using verses of Subramanya Bharathi
poetry was the concluding item.
Priyadarshini Govind
Priyadarshini Govind began with a tradi-
tional mallari, but instead of the margam
she presented ‘Hasita’ - highlighting
the hasya rasa or humor through some
selected Rajkumar Bharathi composi-
tions. It all focused on abhinaya with
very little dance in between.
The first one in the lot “Siripputhan
varuguthaiya...” - was inspired by
the movie song depicting laughter.
The next two pieces were about
Lord Shiva and his family. In the
first one, Priyadarshini portrayed
Parvathy, who watches over
her two sons Ganesha and
■ HAREE FOTOGRAFIE

Kartikeya fighting over trivial


things. In the ninda sthuthi
“Esopi halahalam...” that
Meenakshi Srinivasan during her recital at the
followed, devotee details 2019 edition of ’Soorya Dance & Music Festival’.
some hilarious family quarrels
artograph 2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
OPINION | 08
that might have forced Shiva to Rama Vaidyanathan like nectar could end up being
consume poison. The pieces Vibrant and versatile, agile and poisonous, she exemplified the
certainly had enough for the astute, Rama Vaidyanathan’s mindset of the character. Ravana
dancer to make them a joyful recital ticked all the right might have realized his fault,
watch; however, the fun factor boxes, giving an experience but he is unable to get over his
hardly got transferred to the par excellence for the viewers. arrogance, even as the death
audience if it was the intention. After opening with ‘Skanda stares at him. The concluding
The next piece was based on a Murthe’ - an invocation on Lord piece was a vibrant “Namaste
Vidyapati song. A sakhi curiously Muruga in Chalanattai raga, she Rudra rupinye...” in praise of the
asks the nayika about her last took no pause, and using the goddess Durga.
night with Krishna, and she shares word ‘Kumara’ as a link, moved
her disappointment. At this point, to ‘Samiye vara solladi...’ - the Janaki Rangarajan
Krishna comes knocking at the popular Dandayuthapani Pillai With a lot of sprints, leaps, and
door, but she refuses to open varnam in Purvi Kalyani. The bounds, Janaki Rangarajan’s
and asks who it is. The following choreography sparkled brilliance recital was sort of a roller coaster
conversation between the two and topping that, Rama’s ride, delightful at times. She
resembled the one between abhinaya touched the soul of the opened her performance with
Satyabhama and Madhavi in heroine who’s desperately telling ‘Ardhanariswareem’ inspired
Kuchipudi. The dancer made it her Sakhi to go and ask her lover by the Shaktism of the Hindu
an engaging watch, and novelty to come. tradition, which considers
of it was the use of vachika. She The next piece made use of an everything originated from the
concluded her recital with a episode from ‘Kamba Ramayana’ goddess Adi Parashakti. The main
thillana in raga Purvi. The vocalist where Ravana meets Sita for one piece was the Tanjore Quartet
Preethy Ram supported well, last time. Ravana knows his end varnam “Sarasijakshudu nivani...”
with some modulated singing is near, and as he spends his last in raga Kalyani. The dancer’s
and also assisting the dancer night comes to realize “Vanchanai fascination for not-so-common
with counter dialogues. enakku njane...” (my real enemy is maneuvers was apparent in
none other than myself). Rama’s the choreography. However,
Priyadarsini Govind, Rama Vaidyanathan,
interpretation was melancholic, overdoing it, like the repeated
and Janaki Rangarajan during their recitals swings of the hips now and then,
at the 2019 edition of ’Soorya Dance & and elaborating how something
Music Festival’. didn’t seem to be contributing in
■ HAREE FOTOGRAFIE
2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
09 | OPINION artograph
its wholeness. Swathi Thirunal in raga Kapi and the latter's turned out to be a
Coming to abhinaya, though it Rupaka tala. It was predominantly lackluster experience. The dance
felt pretentious in places, the all dance, especially during the segments weren't that exciting
heroine’s emotions were well latter part of the varnam, and in Lakshmi's recital, but she
conveyed. Janaki came to her the heroine or her sentiments managed to impress in abhinaya
true colors in the ashtapadi piece weren’t as conspicuous as one pieces. The one detailing the
that followed, which she has would expect. However, she 'Veera' rasa and the Swathi
perfected over the years. “Kuru compensated for it with some Thirunal padam "Dhanyayayi..." in
yadu nandana...” with Radha and persuasive abhinaya in the items raga Navaroj were the picks of
Krishna after a romantic night that were presented later on. her recital.
had all the necessary ingredients The heroine in the padam “Idai With the singer also struggling,
in the right proportions to make vida innum vere venuma sakshi...” the varnam "Mohamana..." hardly
it a soulful watch. The concluding asks what more she needs to impressed in Asha Sharath's
piece was a tarana combined prove the hero’s affair with the recital. In the dance interpretation
with an abhang by saint-poet other woman, and the young of the Sugathakumari poem,
Kanhopatra. lady in the javali “Sarasamu "Krishna nee enne ariyilla..." - the
ladedanduku...” is concerned dancer seemed to have misread
Shwetha Prachande about her lover’s advancements the context, and the heroine
Shwetha is known to bring a not considering the time and turned out to be more than happy
lot of energy and dynamism place. M. Balamuralikrishna’s that she never got a chance to
to her dancing, and it was no thillana in raga Behag appended get acquainted with Sree Krishna.
different here. Her dancing with a short poem on the goddess On a side note, they both
abilities dazzled throughout, in raga Kurinji was the final piece. attracted more crowds, and it
right from the opening mallari was a good thought from the
in Gambheera Nattai combined Celebrity dancers part of the organizer to switch
with a virutham on Lord Nataraja. The festival has got a celebrity the venue to Tagore Theatre from
She then moved on to the varnam touch with the inclusion of actor- Ganesham, where the rest of the
“Sumasayaka...” - a composition of dancers Lakshmi Gopalaswamy performances happened. The
and Asha Sharath. While Lakshmi festival took place in the first ten
Shweta Prachande, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy,
and Asha Sharath during the 2019 edition Gopalaswamy could do some days of October 2019. ●
of ’Soorya Dance & Music Festival’. justice to the dance form,
■ HAREE FOTOGRAFIE
artograph 2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
STUDIO | 10
2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
11 | STUDIO

FEATURED

BHADRA
NAR AYANAN
Bhadra Narayanan started
learning dancing at the
tender age of four under guru
Girija Chandran who runs
Regatta Cultural Society, a
pioneering dance training
institute in Kerala. Bhadra
received scrupulous training
in various forms of dance, and
the constant motivation and
support from her guru equipped
her to have Bharatanatyam
Rangapravesham in 2018.
She has traveled nationwide,
spreading the spirit and
flavor of the Kalakshetra
style of Bharatanatyam
and the traditional style of
Kuchipudi and Mohiniyattam.
A graduate in Electronics and
Communication Engineering,
Bhadra works as a Software
Quality Assurance Engineer
at Tata Elxsi, T’puram. She
has completed a certification
program in Bharatanatyam
from the Directorate of Distance
Education, Annamalai University,
and aspires to continue research
in an interdisciplinary area
involving dance and engineering
technology. ●

PHOTOGRAPHY
HAREESH N. NAMPOOTHIRI
MAKE-UP
SABU KARUNAGAPPALLY
COSTUMES
SHIVAN
STUDIO
HAREE FOTOGRAFIE
http://fb.me/haree.fotografie
SHOOTING DATE
2017 OCT 18

THIS SEGMENT FEATURES TALENTS, BOTH YOUNG AND ESTABLISHED,


ALONG WITH THEIR PROFESSIONALLY SHOT STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHS.
artograph 2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
COVER STORY | 12

Mighty roles
The distinctive roles of Arjuna, Shishupala, and Duryodhana glistened in the
annual 'Kerala Natyothsavam' Kathakali festival by Drisyavedi.
SETHUNATH U.N.

T he 32nd edition of 'Kerala


Natyothsavam' by Drisyavedi
focused on selected plays based
the knowledge of Balarama,
helps Arjuna to win his sister's
heart and joins their hands. The
exceptional subtility. Though the
age has restricted his movements
making the kalasams look meek,
on stories of the great epic marriage ceremony, supervised especially in the fighting scene,
Mahabharata. The festival began by Sree Krishna, was witnessed by the performance in its whole still
with 'Subhadraharanam' - a play the gods from heaven, and Indra had enough content to amuse the
by Manthredathu Namboothiri, himself comes down to bless audience. Kalamandalam Vipin
in which Kalamandalam Gopi the couple. Arjuna is overjoyed as Subhadra, Kalamandalam
did one of his acclaimed role to marry Subhadra, but at the Adithyan as Sree Krishna, and
of Arjuna. It is worth stating that same time, not very proud of the Kalamandalam Athul as Indra
the character, notably in the first way he has achieved it. It was a shared space with him on stage,
scene of 'Malayideel' in the play, delight to watch Kalamandalam and they too were pitch-perfect
was revived by the octagenarian Gopi exceptionally articulating in their roles.
maestro a few decades back. the conflicting emotions of The percussion certainly has
Arjuna, solely through the facial a pivotal role in making these
The valiant Arjuna expressions. scenes worthy of a watch, and it
Three scenes involving Arjuna The play then progressed to the was Kalamandalam Krishnadas
were presented; the first one next scene with "Kanchadala and Kalanilayam Manoj, who
being the garland scene, an lochane..." - the slow tempo supported superblyon the chenda
elegant tableau enriched with padam in which the sthayi is and the maddalam respectively.
detailed facial expressions. Arjuna sringara. The padam, known for Pathiyoor Sankarankutty and
came to Dwaraka in the disguise its high level of details perfected Kalamandalam Babu Namboo-
of a saint and got closer to by maestros over the years, thiri were the singers, and they
Subhadra. Sree Krishna, without was presented by Gopi with too were remarkable.

A moment from the ‘Malayideel‘ scene from


the play ‘Subhadraharanam‘.

■ PRIYANKA B.
2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
13 | COVER STORY artograph
The arrogant Shishupala tion fortifying the sovereignty of Pandavas. He has
Shishupala in 'Rajasooyam' is another important lingering detest for Sree Krishna for eloping and
character among the plays based on Mahabharata. marrying Rugmini, who was supposed to marry
The presentation here adhered to the 'vadakkan' him. Nandakumaran Nair's Shishupala entered in a
style following the text of Ilayidathu Namboothiri. dignified manner, instilled with arrogance, assuming
The character is considered as first-grade among himself as the prominent among the invited dig-
the roles coming under the 'Kathi' category in Kallu- nitaries. It all became evident as he enacted
vazhi school. Kottakkal Nandakumaran Nair, a doyen Shishupala's reactions to those he meets on his
of portraying such characters in the northern style way. He bursts with rage when he finds Yudhishtira
of Kathakali, once again proved his mastery and revering Sree Krishna by offering the coveted cere-
brilliance in handling the role. Making this evident monial chair. He questions Yudhishtira for giving the
was the thirnottam, based in veera rasa, notable for shephered boy the chair, instead of many eminent
its precision. He came good in the stylized dance kings who are present at the venue.
sequences that followed as well. Shishupala, fuming in anger, continues to ridicule
The most engaging part is when Shishupala enters Sree Krishna by recollecting events from his
Indraprastha to attend the Rajasuya, a consecra- childhood. He pictures Sree Krishna as one who
murders his own uncle Kamsa, who kills Poothana
while she breastfeed him with motherly affection,
who snatches the cloths of the gopis while they
bathe - Nandakumaran sticked to a realistic but
humorous approach in all these instances,
following the structured script. Eventu-
ally, Sree Krishna looses his patience
and kills him with the holy Sudarshana
Chakra, giving him salvation. The
play also involves the roles of Yud-
hishtira, Sree Krishna, Arjuna, and the
brahmin, presented by Kalamanda-
lam Prasanth, Kalamandalam Arun
Raju, Kalamandalam Praveen, and
Kalamandalam Sarath respectively,
and they were prompt in reacting to
a flamboyant Shisupala.
Kalamandalam Krishnadas along
with Gopikrishnan Thamburan on the
chenda and Kalanilayam Manoj on the
maddalam provided ample support to
Nandakumaran Nair's Shishupala. Other
than some quickies, music is minimal
for Shishupala's portion and Kalamanda-
lam Babu Namboothiri and Kottakkal
Vengeri Narayanan were upto the
task.
The deceitful Duryodhana
Kalamandalam Pradeep is one
of the most talented artists
among the young generation
who has formed his unique
style while following the
northern style of Kathakali.
During the event, Pradeep
presented the role of
Kottakkal Nandakumaran
■ MANOJ KRISHNA

Nair as Shishupala in
‘Rajasooyam‘ Kathakali.
artograph 2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
COVER STORY | 14
Duryodhana in the former half - up till the play of dice -
of ‘Duryodhanavadham’ by Vayaskara Aryan Narayana
Moosath.
The staging began with an elegant display of thi-
ranottam by Pradeep, keeping veera as the base
emotion embellished with sringara. It leads to
a scene in which Duryodhana and Bhanumathi
have a romantic conversation during their stay in
Indraprastha. The sringara padam “Parvana sasiv-
adane...” in raga Padi was performed gorgeously
by Pradeep. The detailing of dancing peacocks
and ‘Iratti Kalasham’ were instances that capti-
vated the audience. Margi Sukumaran provided
company in the role of Bhanumathi. While Duryo-
dhana is all in love, his wife Bhanumathi shares
how she feels about the luck of Draupadi and the
enviable rise of the Pandavas. To console his wife,
Duryodhana decides to ridicule them, by going to
their palace. Pradeep along with Kalamandalam Hari
R. Nair, who played the role of Dussasana, made the
scene delightful with their realistically witty gestures
and expressive interactions, two character’s admi-
ration for each other and the pomposity were
exquisitely presented.
The two finally reaches Indraprastha
and are awestruck by the archi-
tectural excellence of the
palace. Pradeep and Hari
harmoniously enacted
and recreated the hal-
lucinations that the two
■ MANOJ KRISHNA

Kalamandalam Pradeep as
Duryodhana.

form. It is from her that I learned the


FROM PAGE 06 ► Kathakali attire serve drinks during events. Online
techniques of group choreography. classes for dance is getting popular now. But
The students are capable of delivering in short notice. how far does actual learning takes place in this
For instance, when Malavika Sarukkai couldn’t make manner? Everyone is now a teacher after learning
it for the ‘Nishagandhi Dance Festival’ in 2017, the something from here and there. Dance schools
organizers reached for me. There was hardly any sprout up everywhere these days. But the quality
time for preparation, but my students gave a well- is not maintained. In my opinion, it’s better to stop
received performance. Soorya Krishnamoorthy is conducting youth festivals, the way they happen
somebody who gave me enormous opportunities these days. I don’t discourage my students from
to do group choreographies in India and abroad. participating in youth festivals, but that should not
The performances on the occasion of the 85th be their whole purpose of learning dance.
birthday of Nelson Mandela, and during the Kerala
visit of the ruler of Sharjah in 2017, are two worthy Q: Do you think the dancers or gurus from Kerala
mentions. get the recognition they deserve? If not, what
could be the reason?
Q: Classical dance forms often get mis- It is true that recognition is minimal. It is not
represented in tv shows and in social media. uncommon that many Kerala based dancers
Do you feel the youngsters seek attention very change their address to Chennai for better visibility.
early, rather than perfecting their skills? The month-long festival during the Margazhi season
We live in times where people dressed up in there in Chennai annually sees the confluence
2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
15 | COVER STORY artograph
brothers went through at the palace. Their bloopers, ters and the space the two artists gave each other;
ridiculed by Draupadi together with Bhima, offends which many times missed even by senior actors.
the two and as they leave the palace decides to Margi Vijayakumar essayed the role of Draupadi in
have revenge. which he excelled as usual. Kalamandalam Vivek in
Duroyodhana appeals to their uncle Shakuni to help the role of Shakuni also played his part well.
them in this regard and he instigates a shrewd plan It may be noted that the festival featured several
which involves inviting Yudhishtira for a play of dice. other seasoned actors, musicians and percussion-
Shakuni tricks him as the play progresses and in no ists, and most of them made worthy of an effort as
time Yudhishitra loses everything including his part well. The six-day festival organized by Drisyavedi
of kingdom, his brothers and even his wife. Duryo- spanned across the months of Sept-Nov and was
dhana and Dushasana tries to abuse Draupadi, but staged at Karthika Thirunal Theatre and Theertha-
Sree Krishna intervenes and saves his devotee. pada Mandapam, here in Thiruvananthapuram. ● ●
Pradeep’s gestures when he pats his thigh looking
into Draupadi's eyes, implying that she should sit Sethunath U.N. has learned Kathakali for nearly fifteen years
on his thigh and Hari’s show-off to strip her were and is passionate about classical art forms. He is active in
different cultural forums while in the profession heads Mavis
instances of their versatility. The most notable thing DX Consultants (IT), T’puram.
was the control they have shown on their charac-
Kalamandalam Gopi (Arjuna) along with
Vipin (Subhadra), Adithyan (Sree Krishna),
and Athul (Indra), from the same alma
mater, during the ‘Malayideel’ scene from
‘Subhadraharanam’ play.
■ PRIYANKA B.

of artists and tourists alike. Why can't we have an under the tutelage of Kalakshetra Kamala Rani. She
'Ananthapuri' season here, with emphasis on our mainly teaches Kuchipudi, but as a performer, her
regional talents? I strongly suggest that dance and focus is in Mohiniyattam.
music should be a compulsory subject in schools,
and qualified teachers have to be appointed to teach Q: Regatta has trained nearly one lakh students
arts in the way any other subject is being taught. in the past four decades. This in itself is a rare
This I think will put an end to many malpractices honor. On your future plans.
happening in this field. There was a time when a section of people
questioned the teacher in me as I was not into
Q: How has been your family’s support in
stage performances. It took time, but nobody dares
shaping your career? Your daughter is also a to question my credibility at this point. I dream of
promising artist. taking Regatta to the stature of a university. But that
I always had the full freedom to make my choices in is not an easy task and requires a lot of support from
my life, and my husband never interfered with what the government. Maybe, a school where Sanskrit
I loved doing. My daughter Madhavi Chandran has and classical arts are a mandatory subject could be
mastered classical dance forms under legendary a possibility. ●

gurus, and she is the one whom I expect to carry
this parampara forward. In 2011, she received the Priyanka B. is a post-graduate in English literature and an
art enthusiast who enjoys photographing classical dance
Madras Music Academy’s Spirit of Youth Award. At performances. She currently works as Postal Assistant with
the age of eight, she has mastered in nattuvangam Department of Posts, India.
artograph 2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
MEMOIR | 16
ഭ്രമിപ്പിച്ചു.
FROM PAGE 04 ► ഒന്നാം ദിവസത്തെയും കൂട്ടുകുടുംബത്തിന്റേയുമ�ൊക്കെ ചില നല്ല അവശേഷി
നാലാം ദിവസത്തെയും നളന്മാരും പ്പുകൾ ക�ൊണ്ടുനടന്നതിനാൽ അദ്ദേഹം പല
'സന്താനഗ�ോപാലം' ബ്രാഹ്മണനുമെല്ലാം മനസ്സിൽ സംഘാംഗങ്ങൾക്കും ഗുരുനാഥൻ മാത്രമല്ല, രക്ഷിതാവും
തങ്ങിനിൽക്കുന്ന രീതിയിൽ അദ്ദേഹം അവതരിപ്പിച്ചു. കുടുംബത്തിലെ കാരണവരുമ�ൊക്കെയായിരുന്നു.
എങ്കിലും, വീരരസം നരാകൃതി കൈക്കൊണ്ട ഭീമൻ ആശാന്റെ മക്കൾക്ക് കലകൾ അഭ്യസിപ്പിച്ചതും
തന്നെയാണ് കലാല�ോകം എന്നും ഓർത്തിരിക്കുന്ന അവതരിപ്പിക്കാറാക്കിയതുമ�ൊക്കെ സംഘാംഗങ്ങൾ
വേഷം. തന്നെയായിരുന്നു. ഭയഭക്തിബഹുമാനങ്ങൾ ക�ൊണ്ട്
സമ്പ്രദായപ്രകാരമുള്ള ആട്ടങ്ങൾ ഒരു ചടങ്ങുപ�ോലെ ആശാനെ അനുസരിക്കുക എന്ന അവസ്ഥമാറി,
ചെയ്തു തീർക്കാതെ സാധാരണക്കാർക്ക് കൂടുതൽ നേതൃത്വത്തിലുള്ള വിശ്വാസം ക�ൊണ്ട് സംഘാംഗങ്ങൾ
അനുഭവവേദ്യമാക്കുകയും, തന്റെ ശരീരത്തിനും മുഖ ആശാനെ അംഗീകരിച്ചു. അദ്ദേഹത്തിന്റെ പിറന്നാളാ
ത്തിനും യ�ോജിച്ച രീതിയിലുള്ള ചില മന�ോധർമ്മങ്ങൾ ഘ�ോഷങ്ങൾ ഗംഭീരമാക്കി.
യുക്തിസഹമായി അവതരിപ്പിക്കുകയും ചെയ്തു എന്ന മുഷിയാത്ത വ്യക്തിപ്രഭാവം
താണ് എടുത്തു പറയേണ്ട മറ്റൊരു പ്രത്യേകത. കൂട്ടു
വേഷക്കാരുടേയും പിന്നണിയിലുള്ള പാട്ടുകാരുടേയും ഒരു കലാകാരന്റെ പ്രകടനം അയാളുടെ ജന്മസിദ്ധമായ
ക�ൊട്ടുകാരുടേയുമ�ൊക്കെ മന�ോധർമ്മങ്ങള�ോട് കൂടെ കഴിവുകളുടേയും കുറവുകളുടേയും ശേഷമുള്ള ജീവിത
ചേർന്ന് രംഗം അവിസ്മരണീയമാക്കുന്നതും പ്രേക്ഷ സാഹചര്യങ്ങളുടേയും ഉപ�ോൽപ്പന്നമാണ്. എല്ലാ
കർക്കെന്നും കൗതുകമായി. അരങ്ങുകളും അതി കേമമായില്ലെങ്കിലും തീരെ
മ�ോശമായെന്ന് പറയിപ്പിക്കരുത് എന്നദ്ദേഹം
അസാമാന്യ നേതൃപാടവം ആഗ്രഹിച്ചു. വിശ്രമമില്ലാത്ത ജീവിതവും,
അരങ്ങുകളിൽ നിറഞ്ഞു നിൽക്കുമ്പോൾ ആര�ോടും മറുത്ത് പറയാത്ത പ്രകൃതവും
തന്നെ നാട്യസംഘത്തിന്റെ പ്രധാന ഈ കലാകാരനേയും ബാധിക്കാതിരു
അധ്യാപകനാകാനുള്ള നിയ�ോഗവും ന്നില്ല. എന്നാൽ തന്റെ ഔദാര്യത്തെ
ക�ോട്ടക്കൽ ചന്ദ്രശേഖരനുണ്ടായി. മുതലെടുക്കുന്നവര�ോടദ്ദേഹം നീരസം
ആ നേതൃത്വത്തിലാണ് സംഘം പ്രകടിപ്പിച്ചു. സംഘാംഗങ്ങളുടെ താത്പ
ഒരാണ്ടിൽ നൂറ�ോളം അരങ്ങുകളിൽ ര്യങ്ങളെ മ�ൊത്തം ബാധിക്കുന്ന കാര്യ
കഥകളി അവതരിപ്പിച്ചത്. അപ്പോഴും ങ്ങൾക്കെതിരെ ശബ്ദമുയർത്തി. വേഷ
ചന്ദ്രശേഖരനെ പങ്കെടുപ്പിക്കാൻ, ട്രൂപ്പ് ത്തോടെയും അല്ലാതെയും പ്രകടമായിരുന്ന
കളികളില്ലാത്ത ദിവസങ്ങൾക്കായി സംഘാട നായകത്വമാണ് അദ്ദേഹത്തെ വേറിട്ടു നിർത്തി
കർ കാത്തിരുന്നു. ഒഴിവുദിവസങ്ങൾ കുറഞ്ഞു തുടങ്ങി യത്. വേഷത്തോട് അകലം പാലിച്ചവർ പ�ോലും വ്യക്തി
യത�ോടെ ചന്ദ്രാശാനെ കിട്ടാൻ ട്രൂപ്പിനെത്തന്നെ യ�ോടടുത്തു.
ബുക്ക് ചെയ്യണം എന്നായി. സംഘത്തെ ബാധിക്കാത്ത വിശ്രമജീവിതത്തിലും നാട്യസംഘത്തിന്റെ ആവശ്യാ
തരത്തിൽ പുറംപരിപാടികളിൽ പങ്കെടുക്കാൻ നുസാരം പണ്ടു ചിട്ടപ്പെടുത്തിയ കഥ ച�ൊല്ലിയാടിക്കാൻ
കലാകാരൻമാർക്ക് സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യമുണ്ടായിരിക്കണം അദ്ദേഹം കളരിയിൽ വന്നു. ഉത്സവകാലത്ത് അണിയറ
എന്നദ്ദേഹം ഉറച്ചുവിശ്വസിച്ചു. മറ്റു വിഭാഗത്തിലുള്ളവർ യിൽ വന്നിരുന്ന് സ്നേഹബന്ധങ്ങൾ പുതുക്കി. എന്നാൽ
ക്കും അത് സഹായമായി. കളിത്തിരക്കില്ലാത്തപ്പോൾ കളിയരങ്ങിന് ബാധ്യതയാകാൻ അദ്ദേഹം തയ്യാറാ
ആസ്വാദനക്കളരികളും യുവാക്കൾക്ക് പരിശീലനക്കളി യിരുന്നില്ല. അതിനാൽത്തന്നെ ക�ോട്ടക്കൽ ചന്ദ്രശേ
കളുമ�ൊക്കെയായി ക�ോട്ടക്കൽ വിശ്വംഭരമൂർത്തിയുടെ ഖരൻ എന്നോർക്കുമ്പോൾ എക്കാലവും മനസ്സിൽ
ക്ഷേത്രപരിസരം പൂർവ്വാധികം കലാനിർഭരമായി. തെളിയുന്നത് അരങ്ങു നിറഞ്ഞ് നിവർന്ന് നിൽക്കുന്ന
നാട്യസംഘത്തിൽ പ്രൈവറ്റ് വിദ്യാർത്ഥികളായി വേഷങ്ങൾ മാത്രമായിരിക്കും. വിശ്വംഭരന്റെ തിരു മുറ്റത്ത്
ചേരാൻ നാട്ടുകാരായ കുട്ടികളും കൂടുതൽ താൽപ്പര്യം വച്ച് തന്നെ, ആരാധനാമൂർത്തിയുടെ സാമിപ്യത്തിൽ
കാണിച്ചുതുടങ്ങി. കഥകളിച്ചിട്ടയ�ോടുള്ള അദ്ദേഹത്തി സായൂജ്യമടഞ്ഞു നിൽക്കുന്ന തേജസ്വിയായ സുന്ദര
ന്റെ പ്രതിപത്തിയുടെ ജീവിക്കുന്ന ഉദാഹരണങ്ങളാണ് ബ്രാഹ്മണനായിട്ടാണ് അദ്ദേഹം അരങ്ങൊഴിഞ്ഞത്.
ഇന്നു നാമറിയുന്ന ശിഷ്യരത്രയും. ഒടുവിൽ, തന്റെ അസാന്നിധ്യത്തിൽ ചെയ്യേണ്ടതിനെ
മൂത്തവരെന്നോ ഇളയവരെന്നോ ഭേദമില്ലാതെ എല്ലാ ക്കുറിച്ചൊക്കെ കുടുബത്തിന് ചില സൂചനകൾ നൽകി
ശിഷ്യരേയും അദ്ദേഹം നിഷ്കർഷയ�ോടെ ച�ൊല്ലിയാടിച്ചു. രണ്ടുനാൾക്കകം അദ്ദേഹം യാത്രയായി. കാലത്തിന്റെ
സാധകക്കാലം തുടങ്ങിയാൽ മുതിർന്ന കുട്ടികളുടെ ക�ോപ്പറയിലേക്കല്ല, മറ്റേത�ോ കളിയരങ്ങിലേക്ക്, മന്ദം
ഉഴിച്ചിൽ കഴിഞ്ഞയുടനെ ഉർവ്വശിയുടെ ഇരട്ടി, മന്ദം താളത്തിന�ൊപ്പം കാലടികൾ വെച്ചുക�ൊണ്ട്.
കേകി, തപസ്സാട്ടം, മുതലായ സങ്കേതബദ്ധമായ കാലം മറച്ചുപിടിച്ച തിരിശ്ശീല മെല്ലെ താഴ്ത്തി
ഭാഗങ്ങൾ അദ്ദേഹം താളംപിടിച്ച് മറ്റകമ്പടികളി ക�ോട്ടക്കൽ ചന്ദ്രശേഖരന്റെ വേഷം ഇനിയുമ�ൊരായിരം
ല്ലാതെ ചെയ്യിച്ച് ക�ോട്ടം തീർക്കുകയും തുടർന്നു വരുന്ന ജനമനസ്സുകളിൽ തിരന�ോട്ടം നടത്തും, ആ ചന്ദ്രതാരം.●
ദിവസങ്ങളിൽ അവ കളരിയിൽ ച�ൊല്ലിയാടിപ്പി
ച്ചുറപ്പിക്കുകയും ചെയ്തിരുന്നതായി ശിഷ്യർ പറഞ്ഞു Kottakkal Ranjith Varier is an art enthusiast and at the same
കേട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്. തനിക്കുള്ള കുറവുകൾ പ�ോലും ശിഷ്യർക്ക് time, is a noted Carnatic vocalist who has been performing
വരാതിരിക്കാൻ അദ്ദേഹം ശ്രദ്ധിച്ചു. ഗുരുകുലത്തിന്റേയും in and around the state for the last two decades. He also
works in the banking sector.
2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
17 | GENERAL artograph
Display of talent
and dexterity
Gopika Raj Pillai has created an impression for
herself with a vibrant performance during her
Rangapravesam.
HAREESH N. NAMPOOTHIRI

W e often say, well begun is


half done. It’s valid in the
case of classical dancers as well.
and Gopika made it all captivat-
ing with her innate talent. A bit
of refinement in footwork and
They launch themselves as a involvement in abhinaya would’ve
dancer with a Rangapravesam, made it even more laudable.
their first full-fledged concert.
They need to work hard and give Keeping the energy high
their best so that they will gain The padam “Kana kidaikatha
the necessary momentum and katchi...” and the Meera bhajan
confidence to move forward.
Gopika Raj Pillai’s ran-
gapravesam was one
of the kind, showcasing
her talent and mettle.
An impressive start
The first part of the recital had
an invocation with an alarippu, “Gopal gobind radhe krishna
a jathiswaram, and a shabdam. murari...” were the abhinaya
Then came the essential piece - pieces. Separating them was
varnam, followed by a padam, a Subramania Bharati’s ‘Shakthi
keerthanam, a bhajan, and con- Koothu’ in Keerthanam format
cluding with a thillana - her guru by Lalitha Sivakumar. The con-
Nirmala Nagarajan has aptly put cluding item was a thillana in
together a set of pieces covering Gambheera Nattai. One aspect
the full spectrum. Enjoying herself which made the recital impres-
being on stage, and finding her sive was Gopika’s ability to keep
flow right away, Gopika made the energy levels high right up
both the dance pieces - alarippu till the end. The padam and the
and the jathiswaram in raga bhajan were noted for the way it
Arabhi a treat to watch. was conceptualized.
As Gopika proceeded with Gopika had abundant support
“Sarasijakshalu jalakamade...” - a from her accompanying artists for
sabdam choreographed by none the day, with Nirmala Nagarajan
other than Rukmini Devi Arundale, leading in the nattuvar’s seat.
the audience got a glimpse of Bijeesh Krishna in the vocal,
her abhinaya skills. Both in dance Kalamandalam Charudutt on the
and the abhinaya, she bettered mridangam, Palakkad Raghunad-
herself in the navaragamalika han on the flute, and V. Sounder
varnam that followed; “Samiyai Rajan on the veena formed the
azhaithodi va...“ composition of rest of the team. The recital was
K.N. Dhandayudapani Pillai. on the 15th of Sept 2019 at the
■ HAREE FOTOGRAFIE

The heroine is troubled by sepa- Kasturi Srinivasan Hall of the


ration and shares her sentiments Music Academy, Chennai. ●
to sakhi. The piece had instances Gopika Raj Pillai during her
expounding the lyrical meaning, Bharatanatyam Rangapravesam.
artograph 2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
INSIGHT | 18

Workshop
musings

■ HAREE FOTOGRAFIE
Times have changed, and so does the
way of organizing dance workshops.
PARSHWANATH S. UPADHYE

T he art world has been subjected to a lot of Parshwanath S. Upadhye during the workshop session organized
by Samhita, T’puram in Jun, 2018.
changes in the past decade. Ultra urbanized
lifestyle, social media, and YouTube have silently itself is a challenge.
altered how art forms are perceived and performed. Know your guru
My first experience of attending a dance workshop Doing homework on the guru is also very important.
was at the age of thirteen, and it was by none The in-depth knowledge of the resource person is
other than guru Padma Subrahmanyam. It was in essential while organizing or attending workshops.
the vicinity of a temple in Punaroor, a small village It is not what is taught, but how it is done is what
near Mangalore. The daily routine would start at matters. Participating in the workshops of other
six in the morning with yoga. It was followed by artists while being under the guidance of a guru is a
the movements for anga, upanga, and pratyanga, newly observed phenomenon. Exposure to diverse
as described in the 'Natya Shastra' of Bharata gurus will only enhance one’s potential, and it is
Muni. After a short breakfast break, the session indeed heartening to see this trend is becoming
progressed with the training of Hasta Karanas and popular.
other movements related to karanas. End of the
This summer, I'm all set to conduct workshops in
day, after dinner, all will sit together and watch
as many as ten different cities across India. Sadly
the recorded version of Padma Subrahmanyam’s
none of the organizers host it for more than three
Karana-Prakarana telecast in Doordarshan back in
days. Often, the primary criterion is the provision to
the '80s and '90s. The workshop lasted for almost
provide the studio-quality music track of the dance
fifteen days, and we were able to perform the charis
item to be taught. A bare minimum of six hours a
and a Shiva sthuti by the end of it.
day would equip the aspirants with only one or two
Changing times nritya bandhas. Regrettably, youngsters want to
Time flies by, and ways of teaching and learning no attend workshops of only those dancers who give a
more adhere to the days of yore. Though the number lot of public performances. The general impression
of people learning classical art forms has increased is that all they want is to learn the items performed
exceedingly, why one pursues the artform has by the artists.
become comparatively superficial. Young dancers Calls from Kerala mostly end up with me denying,
try to imitate the style of successful dancers, rather as most of the parents and students ask to teach
than being inspired by the essence of performances. a varnam set for ten minutes. Workshops on
The physical appearance of the dancer, make-up, choreography and other knowledge enhancing
and the costumes have become instrumental in sessions attract fewer aspirants compared to those
branding a dancer as successful. Furthermore, eye by the same dancer in which 'items' are taught.
candy photographs enhance these attributes even Preparing oneself for the performance should not
further. For a particular section of the audience, it is be the primary concern here. The focus should be
all these that what matters. on improving yourself as a complete persona. ●
Personally speaking, such matters put me in place,
where I get continually reminded of improving Parshwanath S. Upadhye is a noted Bharatanatyam dancer,
who choreographs, directs, produces, and presents his work
myself. Making people come and talk about my under the banner of Upadhye School of Dance and Punyah
dance rather than the lights, make-up, or jewelry in Dance company.
2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
19 | GENERAL artograph
Making a W hile many dancers find their way to an acting
career, only a few can strike an ideal balance

mark of her own


between the two. Devaki Rajendran is a theater
artist and a film actor, turned dancer who manages
to keep herself engaged in all these. A disciple of
guru V. Mydhili, Devaki emerged promising during
Devaki Rajendran proved her mettle as her recent solo Bharatanatyam recital here in
a Bharatanatyam dancer during her T’puram.
performance in the capital city.
A delightful varnam
PRIYANKA B. Devaki began her recital with a composition
of Mayuram Viswanatha Sastry, “Sree maha
Ganapathe...” in raga Natta set to Adi tala, presented
as an invocation to Lord Ganesha. This was followed
by "Samiyai azhaithu vadi..." - the elaborate Tanjore
Quartet varnam in raga Khamas.
The love-smitten heroine asks her sakhi to bring her
Lord. Nayika yearning to meet Lord Sundareshwara
says that the time has come to seek his blessings,
and find love with him in communion. In the later
part of the varnam, the nayika finds herself out of
sorts, troubled by the arrows of Manmatha. The crisp
jathis proved to be the highlight of the varnam, and
when Devaki executed them skilfully with ample
support from the musicians, it became a delightful
watch.
Contrasting heroines
She then moved on to two abhinaya pieces, the first
one being "Nirupamana samini..." a Poochi Srinivasa
Iyengar javali in raga Behag, and then Subbarama
Iyer padam "Arivenayya un andarangam…" in raga
Atana.
The heroines here are of contrasting nature. The first
one asks her confidant to go and tell her beloved
that she is waiting for him. The lady in the latter is
furious as she knows about her lover's affinity to the
other woman. Devaki has emerged impressively in
presenting the two heroines. However, a bit more
involvement would've conveyed the emotions
better.
"Vallikkanavan pere..." - a 'Kavadi Chinthu' in raga
Chenchurutti came next. The folk composition
abound in devotion to Lord Muruga, portrays
a devotee who skips a heart beat every time
someone utters his name. The recital concluded
with a thillana in raga Valachi, set to Adi tala, a
composition of Madurai R. Muralidharan.
The backing of guru V. Mydhili in the nattuvangam,
Udupi Srinath in the vocal, Bombay K.B. Ganesh on
the mridangam, Udupi Sreejith on the violin and
■ HAREE FOTOGRAFIE

Vivek R. Shenoy on the flute added to the charm


of Devaki’s performance. The event was organised
under the aegis of Midhilalaya Dance Academy at
Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan on the 20th of October,
2019. ●
Devaki Rajendran during her Bharatanatyam recital at Vyloppilli
Samskrithi Bhavan.
artograph 2019 SEP - OCT | VOL 01 | ISS 05
GENERAL | 20
Talking Frames PHOTOGRAPHY BY Hakeem Kokkodan Readers’ Response

Friendly fight We do love to hear from you. Please do


send in your feedback and comments
Two African bush elephant calfs having a friendly fight using the online form available in the link
when the elders are not around. A shot from Maasai given below.
Mara National Reserve, Kenya. ● Link: bit.ly/ag_response
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Playlist

'Prakrithi' ft. Anju Aravind 'Vandheham' ft. Niranjana & Sudharma 'Ganadhipathi' ft. Anaswara Ponnambath
06:07 | 2019 Sep 12 05:16 | 2019 Oct 01 07:04 | 2019 Oct 08
'Prakrithi' explores nature through the vibes of dance, Vandheham - The Zenith of Knowledge is a music- 'Ganadhipathi' is a Ganesha bhajan video song
conceived by Rejith V. Chanthu, and choreographed dance production by Niranjana Ramanan and produced by Nandagovindam Bhajans featuring
and performed by Anju Aravind. Sudharma Vaithyanathan. dancer Anaswara Ponnambath in the lead.
Watch it here: bit.ly/ag-prakrithi Watch it here: bit.ly/ag-vandheham Watch it here: bit.ly/ag-ganadhipathi

"Himagiri Thanaye..." ft. Nandini & Sharvari "Aaradhike..." ft. Reshma & Unnikrishnan 'Tranquillity' ft. Vishnumohan & Nandini
04:51 | 2019 Oct 01 05:31 | 2019 Oct 07 07:31 | 2019 Oct 11
This music-dance confluence between Carnatic A dance interpretation of the song "Aaradhike..." from The song video brings together Hindustani and
and Kathak features vocalist Nandini Rao Gujar and the Malayalam movie 'Ambili' by Reshma U. Raj and Carnatic, featuring vocalists Vishnumohan S. and N.J.
Kathak danseuse Sharvari Jamenis. Unnikrishnan. Nandini, symbolizing the oneness of Indian music.
Watch it here: bit.ly/ag-himagiri Watch it here: bit.ly/ag-aaradhike Watch it here: bit.ly/ag-tranquillity