Kathakali adapted the Koodiyattam tradition of putting the onus of romance on the anti-hero. Romantic interludes (Pathinja Padam) set to a slow tempo are one of the most important theatrical aspects of Kathakali, and requires consummate skill by the actor and quality accompaniment to be pulled off delightfully. While the heroes have romantic interludes set in some of the plays, they cannot match the splendor and charm the anti-heroes bring to their sequences. Such romantic sequences became so significant in the theater of Kathakali that in some plays, they become the essence of the whole play and the hero does not even enter the stage. Rambha pravesam and Kamaladalam are two classic examples, both featuring the demon king Ravana. Rambha Pravesam (entry of Rambha, the celestial maid) is a scene from Ravana Vijayam penned by Kilimanoor Rajaraja Varma (Kareendran), a 19th century poet and courtier of Swathi Thirunal. Ravana, the mighty demon king is enamored by Rambha on a moonlit night in the Himalayas. He does not heed her objections and subjugates her. Beautiful lyrics and music, and the interaction between a lewd Ravana and timid Rambha, all provide for an enthralling theatre experience.
Sunday December 2, 2018 – 12.30 pm