150 Kathakali Dancers Perform Together in ‘Natya Vismayam’

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
12 Feb 2011

Natya Vismayam was organized in Thiruvananthapuram on February 12, 2011. As many as 150 Kathakali dancers created history in a one of a kind performance combining ‘mudras’ of the classical dance form with time tested ‘asanas’ for the first time in history.

This wonderful display of Kerala’s celebrated dance form was held in the presence of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The event, called Natya Vismayam, was organized by The Art of Living as part of its drive to promote Indian classical arts.

The performance was choreographed and led by eminent Kathakali exponent Ettumanur Kannan. “It was an attempt to express the subtle nuances of dhyana (meditation) through existing mudras of Kathakali. It was also an effort to interpret dhyana as The Art of Living is also, basically, a form of dhyana,” he said.

For the first time in the history of Kathakali,150 artists attired in colorful costumes of all the five classic veshas, namely - pachcha, kaththi, thaadi, kari and minukku, performed together to take the audience to higher levels of consciousness. As many as 16 renowned Kathakali musicians, accompanied by percussion players on traditional instruments, added to the performance.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also honored eminent Kathakali artists Padmashree Madavoor Vasudevan Nair, Nelliyodu Vasudevan Nampoothiri, Kalamandalam Gangadharan and Chenda exponent Kalamandalam Raman Nampoothiri during the event.