Tale of a mythical tribal warrior
`Kirathasoonu Charitham' was presented in a new format.
INNOVATIVE: Kalamandalam Pratheep as `Kirathasoonu.'
Staging new attakathas is becoming a fad for Kathakali, but introducing an old attakatha in a new manner is a novelty indeed. At a recent performance at Kolpurathu Mana, near Kozhikode, an attakatha, `Kirathasoonu Charitham,' written by Kottarakal Sankunni years ago, was staged.
A `Kalamezhuthupattu' was also organised in connection to the performance.
The three-and-a-half hour Kathakali performance started with a conversation between Subramanian and Narada, when Narada tells him that he would soon have another brother, who was conceived when Shiva and Parvathi were disguised as `Kirathas' to humble Arjuna. The story narrates the tale of Subramanian's brother `Kirathasoonu' also known as `Vettakorumakan.' He pays no heed to his brother's advice and in his enthusiasm for hunting kills two asuras Vakranasan and Vakradamshtran.
Kirathasoonu offends the Gods in his zeal for hunting and eventually Lord Vishnu has to humble the hunter-warrior. Vishnu pardons him and advises him to move to another place. Heeding his advice, Kirathasoonu reaches Balussery Fort in Kozhikode and settles there.
The significance of this attakatha is that is starts of as a Purana and ends in history. In Kozhikode, there are a lot of temples where Kirathasoonu is the main deity.
Choreographed by Kalamandalam Kesavan Namboothiri, who is a teacher in Vijnana Kairali, Aranmula, the performance was held at his residence. Kalamandalam Pratheep essayed the role of Kirathasoonu.
Apart from the attakatha, the costumes, which were designed by Kesavan Namboothiri stood out. It was a fusion of tribal and Kathakali costume.
The role of Narada was done by Namboothiri and the roles of Subramanian and Shiva were enacted by Kalamandalam Hari Narayanan and Kalamandalam Shivadas.
Vellinezhi Haridas and Manoj Pullur headed the music and Vazhankada Krishnadas and Kalamandalam Hari Narayanan played the chenda and the maddalam respectively.
Vellinezhi Haridas, son of the late Kalamandalam Unnikrishna Kurup, the legendry Kathakali singer, with Manoj Pullur provided musical support.
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