Source: The Hindu; Author: Rupa Srikanth; Photo Courtesy: R. Shivaji Rao

The fourth edition of ‘Bhava Bhavanam,’ Kalakshetra Foundation’s annual Kathakali festival is presenting ‘Nalacharitham,’ written by poet Unnayi Variar (1665-1725), over five days by senior artists and gurus such as Kalamandalam Gopi, Kalamandalam Balasubrahmanian and Kottakkal Chandrasekhara Warrier. It is for the first time that the entire play is being enacted in Chennai. As envisioned by Sadanam P.V. Balakrishnan Asan of Kalakshetra, the performances are preceded by lectures of prominent scholars such as Sadanam Harikumar, Narayanan Nampoothiry, Prof. M.V. Narayanan and Kalamandalam MPS Namboodiri. The story of the romantic and courageous couple, Nala and Damayanthi, is from the Mahabharatha, and is related to Yudhishtira to console him after his defeat in the game of dice.

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Bhava Bhavanam Nalacharitham part 2 Kathakali dance performance by the Kalmandalam Bala Subramanian (Nalan) during the Kathakali festival at Kalakshetra. Photo: R. Shivaji Rao