ven as the centenary of Kumaran Asan’s ‘Veena Poovu’ is being celebrated throughout the country, Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed

University for Arts chose to commemorate the literary classic by producing the same in Mohiniyattom. The half-an-hour choreography presented by the dance department of the University was premiered at Cheruthuruthy. Asan scripted this epoch-making poem in 1907 during his sojourn in Jain Medu, Palakkad. A highly philosophical poem, ‘Veena Poovu’ is an allegory of the transience of the mortal world, which is depicted through the description of the varied stages in the life of a flower. The poet waxes eloquent as he describes its past when it shone like a queen attracting all those who passed by. Soon the flower lost its sheen as it welcomed the bees from afar leaving the butterflies nearby. The poet points out that it may not be long before it gets dissolved in the soil and expresses his remorse over this. Philosophical poem The poem is about the inevitable mortality of life. Only nine of the 41 stanzas of the poem were selected for the choreography but they effectively convey the message of the entire text. The introduction of the choreography with all the 25 dancers on stage was visually captivating. Also, the description of the garden with flowers, bees, butterflies and birds was enthralling. Commendable were the nritta (pure dance) sequences that were interspersed between the stanzas. Group choreographies of classical dance forms generally fail to click when it comes to nrithya (interpretative dance) and ‘Veena Poovu’ was no exception. The interpretation of the sahithya was accomplished by a group of five dancers each and was relatively shorter in duration compared to the nritta parts. Melancholic mood

Music scored by Vayala Rajendran effectively communicated the melancholic mood of the poem. And so was the special lighting directed by Raju Narippatta. The choreography was by Kalamandalam Leelamma and Kalamandalam Hymavathy.

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