Ponnani : Kottakkal Madhu
Shinkidi : Nedumballi Ram Mohan
Chenda : Sadanam Ramakrishnan
Maddalam : Kalamandalam Venu
Edakka : Peringode Subramanian
01. harihara vidhinuta – rAgamAlika ( darbAri kAnaDa, sahAna, Anandabhairavi, sindhubhairavi) – thODayam
02. SLOkam ( pItAmbaram karavirAjitam) – SrI
ajitA harE jaya – SrI – kuchElavrutam
03. shArada rajani varunnu tEril – Arabhi – arjuna vishAda vrittam ( O )
04. SLOkam ( tvavAt vaikunTa vAmEtara ) – nAtakurinji
mAdhava jaya shaurE – nAtakurinji – kirmIra vadham
05. SLOkam ( kAnthan kaninju parayunnoru) – pUrvikalyANi
sAmyam akannoru udyAnam – pUrvi kalyANi – naLacharitam Day 2
sarvartu ramaNIyam – kharaharapriya – naLacharitam Day 2
06. Siva Siva enthu cheyvU – ghaNTAram – naLacharitham Day 1
07. karNA, pArtha sadruSan Ariha – brindAvana sArang – uttarA swayamvaram
08. entiha man mAnasE – hindOLam – karNa SapatHam ( A )
09. vIra virATa kumAra vibhO (kummi)- USAni (husEni) – uttarA swayamvaram
10. SLOkam ( iTi sa NrupatinA khagO visrushtO ) – kAmOdari – naLacharitam Day1
UrjitA ASaya pArthiha tAva – kAmOdari ( kAmbOji) – naLacharitam Day1
tani Avartanam (cheNDa,maddaLam,eDakka)
11. SLOkam ( sudEvOktam swadayitanO ) – dwijAvanti – naLacharitam Day3
maRimAn kaNNi mauliyuDE – dwijAvanti – naLacharitam Day3
12. thillAna ( ta ta kiTa takkiTa ) – bhAgEshri – Kottakkal Madhu (on the deity of Kottakkal)
13. pushkara vilOchana – surutti – kuchElavruttam
14. padma vallabha pAlaya bhagawan – madhyamAvathi – ?
SLOkam ( srI kAnthAya mukundAya) – madhyamAvathi
Kathakali pada katcheri is in practice just over two decades, mostly during the festivities conducted in the namboodiri house holds. Kalamandalam Sankaran Embranthiri, arguably, the first to popularise this genre, creating an identity beyond the limits of the Kathakali performances. The events are now moved away from the night programs to a day affair, the carnatic style of singing ( or the influence there of), and the choices of padams were some trademarks of this katcheris. As an art form, this is still in its nascent stage and the experimentation, to find the right balance, is still on. The scope and expandability of capabilities are limited within the construct of the kathakali padam, few attempts to improvise ( and to make it similar to a carnatic concert) is evident in the performance witnessed yesterday.
Sahrdaya, a collective of few enthusiasts, put together their first program by inviting two leading exponents of this concert form. The small hall was largely filled with the listeners, to their credit. the concert itself was carefully and meticulously planned, by choosing many well known padams from traditional ‘katha’ and few newer ones like ‘arjuna vishAda yOgam’. Alternating slow padams with a faster ones, choosing ragams carefulle from traditional kathakali ragams to few new experiments ( brindavana saranga, arabhi), the useni padam popular with thiruvathirakali; it was a well thought out presentation. The duo later told me that they had to skip a few ( pADi for example) due to time issues.
Sri Madhu and Ram Mohan, started their concert with the ‘gaNapati stuti’ , harihara vidhinuta, from the thODayam with interesting mix of ragams. The ‘superhit’ ajitA harE in sri came in its all grandeur with the typical sangathis, familiar to the traditional listeners. Arabhi padam, from the new ‘attakatha’ wasn’t all that appealing to me. Ghantaram padam of Hamsam to naLa was marked by emotive rendering.
To me, ‘entiha man mAnasE’ exhibit hindOLam in its ultimate beauty. The duo sang a detailed alapana ( in akara singing) brilliantly, before launching into the slow padam, encapsulating the contemplative mood of karNa who seems to be asking himself those existential questions about his birth and his worth. A quick ‘kummi’ from uttaraswayamvaram came in as a filler after the ultra slow hindolam, before the ‘main’ kAmbOji. A shortish alapana ( as part of the slokam) was pretty neat, and interestingly , it was UrjitA Ashaya from Nalacharitham that was sung ( I was routing for hariNAkshi). Elaborate sangatis at ‘mAlini rUpiNi sheelavathi’ was very good, which seems to go on and on.
The percussion had their chance with a ‘carnatic concert’ type tani avartanam. They played the similar korvai and muktayi as a mrudangam and ganjira vidwan would do in a carnatic concert.
One of my favourite, marimAn kanni, was to come next. I haven’t heard a better composition in dwijavanti. Unlike ‘chetasri balakrishna’ or ‘akhilandeswari’, this padam seems to take a different path in dwijavanti, apt to the mood of Nala.
A thillana in bhageshri, with the charanam lines ‘srI vishwambharAya namastE’ n the deity of Kottakkal, set to tune by Madhu himself, followed the typical kathakali sancharas. The evening concluded with the surutti padam from kuchelavruttam ( interestingly, the pallavi line came in at the last) before a madhyamavathi slokam.
These are rare chances we get in Bangalore to listen to Kathakali padams, and as a listener, one wanted more to come. With the given constraints of time, the team put together a fabulous show with some beautiful padams , with clever and appropriate planning.