Parvati Viraham in Nangiar Koothu

May 29, 2011

Kapila performing Parvati Viraham
Parvati Viraham is a dialogue between Shiva and Parvati that ultimately ends up as a love quarrel and is one of the greatest moments of abhinaya in Koodiyattam Sanskrit theatre.

In this, the same actor enacting the characters of Shiva as well as Parvati is an example of Pakarnattam, impersonating both the male and female characters alternatively. To shift thus between the male and female characteristics, the actor needs to empty himself / herself. The mind has to become transparent. Only if the actor is able to achieve such a state of mind will the transformation in Pakarnattam take place. Parvati Viraham is a portion that gives an opportunity for experiencing the theory of acting. "Yatho drishtisthatho mana" (where the eye rests, there the mind reaches) to its fullest degree is possible. Sringara when Parvati gazes at Shiva's face, jealousy when she happens to glance at Shiva's head that houses Ganga, then anger as her gaze moves down in a process of thinking, that turns into sadness - thus, the movement of the eye transforms into the sthayi and sanchari bhavas.

The whole episode which is based on a single anonymous sloka "mauloukinnu mahesa" composed centuries ago is now becoming part of Nangiar Koothu repertoire. The play produced at the Abhinaya Kalari (Acting Laboratory) of Natanakairali is enacted by Kapila Venu. The premiere of the performance was held on May 27, 2011 at the 34th National Convention of SPIC MACAY at Ravenshaw University, Cuttack.

Kalamandalam Rajeev, Kalamandalam Hariharan and Kalanilayam Unnikrishnan provided percussion accompaniment to the performance. Eminent dance critic Leela Venkataraman introduced the performance. Ustad Bahauddin Dagar (exponent of rudra veena) felicitated the artistes.