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The 2nd Kalyana Krishna Dance & Music Festival-2007
December 7th, 8th and 9th
TDM Hall, Kochi


View more Photos - 2007 Photo Gallery >>

On the inaugural evening, Mr. Jyotis Balasubramanian, Chairman, Kalyana Krishna Foundation welcomed the gathering. All the artists were honored with a memento.

The festival started with a NRITHYARPANAM, homage to Guru Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma presented by Amma’s distinguished students, who have come from different parts of the world. It was indeed a great offering for the Mother of Mohiniyattam. The event coordinated by Smt. Sreedevi Rajan, the eldest daughter of the legendry couple, presented Amma’s Krithis to its original choreography, the same way Amma has choreographed. With Amma’s distinguished students, Smt Kalamandalam Sugandhi, Smt Bhavani Chellappan, Smt Deepthi Omcheri Bhalla, Smt Smitha Rajan, Smt Radhika Varma, Smt Kalamandalam Sumathi, Smt Suma Varma, Smt Shyamala Surendran, Shri Ennekattu Narayanankutty, Smt Hisayo Watanabe, and Shri Vinaya Chandran, her grandchildren and great grandchildren also participated in the event. NRITHYARPANAM included Nadasaraswathi (an offering to Lord Saraswathi), a Ganapathi sthuthi, and 2 padams, Slokam, Thillana and Rama Saptham.

The Saptham, a mix of Nritya and Nritta, in Ragamalika and Eka Tala, was the prominent item, which is a good example of the scope of story narration in Mohiniyattom.

It was really a delight to see that Amma’s disciples spread all over the world gathered to pay homage to their master under the auspices of Kalyana Krishna Foundation. Those could not make it, conveyed their offerings through mails. There was a certain warmth and deep attachment evident in each of the disciples’ performances. The Nrithyarpanam truly proved the bond the disciples shared with their Guru.


Second day of the festival began with a commemorative conference presided by Prof Ambalapuzha Rama Varma a well known Kathakali critic, writer and author. He enlightened the audience with his rich experience in Kerala’s Art & Culture. Prof Rama Varma remembered Asan’s expressive face, elegant appearance, humorous approach to characters and the ease with which he handled different roles in different stories. He also mentioned about Amma’s devotion to Mohiniyattam and the strain she had taken to elevate this art form. It was indeed a heart touching experience for the students of the two Gurus to hear Prof Rama Varma reminding them of many incidents in the lives of the two Great Artists. The disciples of both the Gurus emotionally remembered their experiences with the Masters as well. For the younger generation, it was truly inspirational to hear about the two devoted and dedicated souls.

Evening session of the second day saw a NRITHYARPANAM, a Kathakali Presentation, and Homage to Guru Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, one of the all-time greats of Kathakali. There is no dearth of Kathakali presentations in Ernakulam. But the Baka Vadham story presented by Asan’s distinguished disciples was a feast to the eyes of the people in Ernakulam, who have been accustomed to the usual Kathakali presentations. It was a pleasure to watch Shri Changarappally Anujan as Bheema, Shri Margi Vijayan as Kunthi, Shri Thalavadi Aravindan as Bakan and Shri Vembayam Appu Pillai as Old Brahmin. Shri Aravindan played the role of Old Brahmin’s wife. With double Chenda and double Maddalam, the musicians brought alive the mood.


The last day of the festival started with a Kathakali Pada Kacheri by Sri Kalamandalam Babu Namboodiri & Sri Kalamandalam Harish accompanied by Shri Gopikrishnan Thampuran and Shri Tripunithura Raju (one of the grandchildren of the Gurus.


In the "Young talented upcoming artists' " slot, it was a Bharatanatyam duo by Shri Srikanth & Smt Aswathy Srikanth. This young dancers exhibited considerable talent with a softened approach to the usual stiffness of the Bharatanatyam, Ernakulam audience is familiar with. They began their performance with a Ghanda chapu Pushpanjali in Gambheera Natta raga followed by Sri vignarajam bhaje in same Raga and Tala. This was followed by a Jatiswaram in Vasantha Raga and Roopaka Tala. Next was a padam, Gopalakrishna Bharathi's ``Irakkam varamal povathenna karanam'' in the Raga Behag performed by Shrikanth. Aswathi performed Shivasakthi, a Subramania Bharati krithi, in Raga Shivasakthi and Tala Adi. The performance ended with a crisp thillana, a composition of Delhi Guru Sadasivam in Amruthavarshini raga, Adi tala. Aswathi exhibited fine control over Nritta, while Srikanth was more graceful in conveying the ideas. Smt Kalamandalam Saraswathi complimented the performance with nattuvangam while Shri Shornoor Arun Gopinath gave a good vocal support. Vadakara Anil Kumar and Palakkadu Shriramakrishnan on Mridangam and violin respectively were good.


The festival concluded with a Thanks giving by Smt Sreedevi Rajan, Director of Kalyana Krishna Foundation.

Kalyana Krishna Dance & Music Festival-2007 which brought together the disciples of Shri Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair and Smt Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma commemorates the sincerity and loving respect of the disciples towards their gurus. It was indeed a festival of sheer delight.


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