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Display of abhinaya

G.S. PAUL

Suraj Nambiar's demonstration highlighted the acting techniques of Koodiyattom.



VIRTUOSO PERFORMER: Suraj Nambiar.

Koodiyattom plays are replete with anecdotes that highlight the esoteric acting techniques of the Sanskrit theatre.

`Parvathy Viraham' in Toranayudham (Abhisheka Nataka) and `Asokavanikangam' (Ascharyachoodamani) deserve special mention.

A one-hour demonstration of the same at Irinjalakuda by Suraj Nambiar on the day of Vijayadasami was an excellent exposition of `pakarnattam,' the essence of abhinaya in Koodiyattom.

It depicted a conversation between Parvathy and Siva. Parvathy becomes suspicious when she spots Ganga hidden in Siva's matted hair. Suraj Nambiar skilfully portrayed Parvathy's incisive questions and Shiva's vague answers to allay her suspicions. Angered by Siva's clever but vague answers, she walks off in a tiff. That is when an arrogant Ravana tries to lifts Kailas. In the resulting melee, a frightened Parvathy rushes back to Siva and all is forgiven and the two forget their spat.

Remarkable virtuosity

Suraj exhibited remarkable virtuosity in delineating the subtleties of abhinaya right from the first scene that showed Parvathy approaching Siva. Suraj, who has undergone rigorous training under Guru Ammannur Madhava Chakyar over the past 15 years, has won encomiums for his bewitching portrayal of Dushyanta in Natanakairali's production `Sakuntalam.' Kalamandalam Rajiv and Kalamandalam Ravi Kumar (mizhavu), Kalanilayam Unnikrishnan (Edakka) and Kapila (talam) provided the background support.

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