‘Sohrab and Rustum’, first staged within the Nineteen Seventies, was carried out just lately at ‘Kesaveeyam’

‘Sohrab and Rustum’, first staged within the Nineteen Seventies, was carried out just lately at ‘Kesaveeyam’


In 1930, the Kerala Kalamandalam introduced in a collection of reformations as Kathakali artistes started reaching out to a worldwide viewers, and artistes from the West began displaying deep curiosity within the artwork kind. This prompted many Malayalam writers to provide you with performs primarily based on poems and tales from all over the world.

The late Kalamandalam Kesavan, an completed chenda participant, was a well known actor and a prolific author. In the Nineteen Seventies, he determined to adapt Mathew Arnold’s narrative poem, ‘Sohrab and Rustum’ with sturdy tragic themes, to the Kathakali stage. Traditionally, tragedies weren’t taken up for Kathakali performances. However, Kesavan went forward and conceived the poem as a play, having ten scenes and 6 characters.

Memorable sequence

At its maiden presentation, Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, the fabled actor, performed the function of Rustum, the hero, and Vaikom Karunkaran, that of Sohrab.

Their good performances particularly made the final scene memorable through which the nice warrior Rustum realises that he had unknowingly killed his long-lost son Sohrab.

Though the choreography was in keeping with custom, the play didn’t make it to the Kathakali repertoire, and was by no means introduced once more. But just lately it was staged on the Changampuzha Park, Edappally, Kochi, because the concluding efficiency at ‘Kesaveeyam’, a three-day annual occasion, held in reminiscence of Kalamandalam Kesavan.

The recital started with a dialog between the couple Rustum and princess Tahmina, through which they recall their love story. When Rustum involves know of her being pregnant, he hopes she would give delivery to a boy. Meanwhile, Rustum is summoned by his father, the king, who’s indignant over his lengthy absence. Before leaving, he presents Tahmina a necklace for his or her unborn youngster. When he meets the king, Rustum is instructed he has been dismissed from his submit. Tahmina offers delivery to a boy, however fearing he would comply with his father’s footsteps, sends a message to Rustum that it’s a child lady. An sad Rustum sends the messenger again. Sohrab grows as much as be the assistant military chieftain of Turan. His victories lead him to assault Persia, the place the daddy and son have interaction in a fierce battle unaware of their relationship. Sohrab dies on Rustum’s lap whereas displaying him the necklace. A distraught Rustum calls off the battle.

Kalamandalam Sreekumar as Rustum and Chembakkara Vijayan as Tahmina displayed immense involvement. FACT Biju Bhaskar because the Persian king, donning the make up of a kathi (villainous) character, confirmed restraint. Ranjini Suresh as Sohrab movingly depicted the transformation from an invincible soldier to an inconsolable son. Kalanilayam Rajeevan on the vocal music supported by Vishnu may have enhanced the sequences by selecting some uncommon ragas. Kalamandalam Hareesh on the chenda, and Prasanth on the Maddalam added to the visuals with their highly effective strokes. The play, if edited additional with prudence, may make for an important viewing expertise.

The latest staging of the play drove house the purpose that feelings are common and that artwork traverses past language and tradition.

The writer is a critic and connoisseur of conventional artwork types of Kerala.

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