A Workshop on Pacha Vesham-s

Renu Ramanath | Jun 22, 2015
217 Views | 2 Comments

‘Shyamam,’ the five day long national workshop based on Navarasa-s and Natyasastra to Kutiyattam acting techniques, organised by Madhava Mathrugramam had focused on the nuances of Navarasa-s through Pacha vesham. 

The Sanskrit word ‘Shyamam,’ means ‘Black’, the colour of Lord Krishna. But, in the visual language of traditional Kerala murals, the colour black is represented by green. Thus, green is the colour used to depict Sreekrishna and Sreerama.  Green becomes an important colour in the make-up of Kathakali and also Kutiyattam, traditionally used to denote the ‘Satwika’ characters as the ‘Pacha Vesham.’

This was not the only reason for Madhava Mathrugramam titling their workshop on Navarasa-s based on Pacha Vesham in Kutiyattam as ‘Shyamam.’ The rasa Sringara is also referred to as ‘Shyama’ in Natyasastra, points out Ammannur Rajaneesh Chakyar, reputed Kutiyattam performer and founder of Madhava Mathrugramam. Besides, Shyamam is also denoted as the colour representing Sringara.

‘Shyamam,’ the five day long national workshop based on Navarasa-s and Natyasastra to Kutiyattam acting techniques, organised by Madhava Mathrugramam at Thrissur in May 2015 had focused on the nuances of Navarasa-s through Pacha vesham.  Lecture-demonstations and discussions by the eminent scholars and performers in Kutiyattam like  Painkulam Narayana Chakyar, G. Venu, Margi Sathi, Dr. C.K.Jayanthi, Margi Sajeev Narayana Chakyar and Margi Madhu on various subjects - the use of Mudra-s, Navarasa Sadhana,  presentation on the Acting Portions in Nangiarkoothu concentrating on Navarasa, Rasa Theory and Aesthetics of Kutiyattam etc. were conducted on these days.

The workshop had participants from four States, including Rajasthan, Kolkatta, Andhra Pradesh (Hyderabad) and New Delhi. Priyadarshini Ghosh who described the breathing in Kutiyattam as the Yoga in Art and Dr. Krishna Mahawer who focused the adaptation of Kutiyattam in contemporary theatre were some among them.

The performances arranged during the workshop had focussed on all the nine rasa-s, with appropriate portions selected from different Kutiyattam-s. Margi Madhu and Dr. Indu G performed on the first day as Dhananjaya and Subhadra from 'Subhadradhananjayam (IInd Day)' Kutiyattam, focussing on the rasa Sringara. The performance by Margi Sajeev Narayana Chakyar with Ammannur Madhava Chakyar from ‘Ascharya Choodamani’  focussed on the rasa Adbhutha and the performance by Ammannur Rajaneesh Chakyar as Duryodhana from 'Dutavakyam' Kutiyattam emphasised Veera rasa.  Pothiyil Renjith Chakyar and Ammannur Rajaneesh Chakyar performed the roles of Dushyantha and Vidushaka from 'Shakunthalam' Kutiyattam (directed by G. Venu) to denote Hasya whereas  Kalamandalam Sangeeth Chakyar and Ammannur Madhav Chakyar presented Sankukarna and Ravana from 'Thoranayudham' Kutiyattam to elaborate upon the Bhayanaka Rasa. Centered on the rasa-s Karunam and  Bheebhalsam, two performances newly choreographed and presented by Ammannur Rajaneesh Chakyar was held on the fourth day.  The performances were 'Sitaparityaga' from 'Uthararamacharitha' and select senes from Bhavabhuti’s 'Malathi Madhavam,’ which describes a shmashana, funeral ground. The last evening’s performance by Pothiyil Renjith Chakyar who presented the role of Srirama from 'Samudrataranam' Kutiyattam was on the rasa, Roudra.

At the valedictory function on the final day, the book, ‘Ammannur Kalariyude Pazhakkavum Valarchayum,’ (The Heritage and Growth of Ammannur Kalari), written by Ammannur Rajaneesh Chakyar was released. The workshop had discussion on Thouryathrika in Theatrical Communication moderated by Dr. A.N.Krishnan, who spoke mainly about Vadya and Kathakali, various aspects of the performance of mizhavu, the percussion, by the percussionists, Kalamandalam Rajeev, Kalamandalam Ratheesh Bhas, Kalamandalam Ravikumar and Kalamandalam Sajith Vijayan. The Mudiyettu performer Varanattu Narayana Kurup also made a detailed presentation on the art form.

The workshop, in general, was rather technical and meant almost exclusively for practitioners and learned connoisseurs rather than novices or casual audience. It focussed on generating and sharing discussions on aspects of practical knowledge that can be invaluable for the practitioners. The participants of the workshop were led through Nethra Sadhana (practice for eyes) in the morning, followed by sessions in Kalari, martial arts training. They were also given training in Ramayana Samkshepam led by Ammannur Rajaneesh Chakyar.


Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!


Nicely written. Thanks to Renu Ramanathan and Welcome Kerala magazine

excellent article

Add new comment