Two diverse dances on a single stage

Ahead of World Elder's Day on October 1, two traditional dance forms are being showcased in the city.

Temple Arts of Kerala is a show being done primarily to promote World Elder’s Day which is happening on October 1 as well as to promote two forms of dance that is almost forgotten Mohiniyattam and Nangiar Koothu. This show is set to happen on September 29 at ADA Ranga Mandira.

This show is being hosted by ElderAid Wellness as well as Nrithyaami. Elder care is often looked in a very health-related way. But by coming up with this kind of a show, elders are motivated to spend a much more active life.

Santhosh Abraham says, “Through this show we wanted to promote World Elder Day as well as promote two traditional dance forms that are neglected. Mohiniyattam to an extent is popular whereas Nangiar Koothu is more of a temple art form.”

On why these particular art forms where chosen, Dr Vandana Nadig Nair who will also be performing Mohiniyattam, adds, “We wanted to do this show because seniors are great patrons of the classical art forms. Classical dance forms are dying out today and are being replaced by forms like hip hop. It is almost metaphorical and since our focus is elder, who are very neglected demographic.”

The proceeds from this show will also be going towards the relief funds for Kerala as well as Kodagu. This show has been split in two segments as the dance forms are very different from each other despite originating from the same state. Vanadana adds, “The first half is very sensuous, graceful and reminiscent of Kerala with a blend of carnatic and sopana tradition. While the second part is more primal so the only music is percussion.”

The Nangiar Koothu part of show will use an instrument called the Mizhavu which is mentioned in the Natya Shastra. Vandana will joined on stage with two other dances from Nrithyaami for the Mohiniyattam piece. She adds, “We will be starting off with a Ganapathy pieces which will be followed by Mukhachalam which is done in praise of Tripura sundari. The third piece is a very interesting take on Varnam where the nyka is calling to her beloved which is Lord Padmanabha.”

Nangiar Koothu will be performed by Priya Krishnadas. Priya adds, “Nangiar Koothu is Sanskrit traditional theatre which is part of a bigger form called Koodiyattam. This a female-solo story telling form which has existed since over 2000 years. Usually in this form, they do the Sri Krishna Chaitram but for this I will only be doing Poothana Moksham.” This style is highly ritualistic which was only performed in the Koothambalam of the temples. On the state of this style now she add, “It is very traditional and cannot be easily understood therefore its not popular, But now the art form has come out of the temples and is being in staged in theatres and has become more accessible.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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