Methil Devika has been not been resting on her laurels in the course of the lockdown. The danseuse and educational has been busy with performances, courses and choreography. New themes and recent interpretations, a few of which had been shared on social media, gained popularity of her interpretation and fascinating views that she translated into the vocabulary of classical dance.
Not too long ago, ‘Kottichetham’, an excerpt of which was shared on her Fb web page, created ripples of pleasure amongst dance buffs. Carried out by Devika and Dr Arun Azeez, the video of the recital was launched by singer KS Chitra on her Fb web page.
“That is an excerpt from the Tamil epic Silappathikaram, written by Ilango Adigal. Kottichetam is believed to have been danced by the Parayur Chakyan of the Chera court docket for the King and the queen. The Chera King had simply emerged victorious from a battle and the picture of the king and the queen collectively impressed him to bop this piece,” explains Devika.
She provides that Kottichetham is the dance of Lord Siva and Uma, part of himself. Whereas Siva’s eyes are blazing and his matted locks are tossed round, the Uma inside him is the image of composure. “The pointers within the strains are undoubtedly in the direction of the Ardhanareeswara idea and talks in regards to the twirl of vitality between the divine masculine and the female inside one self and never two individuals,” she elaborates.
Set to music by the late Kavalam Narayana Panicker and Kavalam Srikumar in Champa tala, a tala native to Kerala’s artwork types, Kottichetham was choreographed by Devika 10 years in the past.
In January 2020, Devika had carried out a dance workshop for worldwide college students. Kottichetham was one of many items she had taught on the workshop. One of many individuals was Melbourne-based ENT surgeon Dr Arun Azeez. “Nearly 32 years in the past, Arun had bagged the primary prize for Mohiniyattam on the Kerala State Youth Competition competitors. Now, a busy medical practitioner, Arun is extra into portray. The workshop caught his consideration and he determined to discover the facets of Mohiniyattam as soon as extra. I used to be amazed to seek out him stepping into the groove with out many difficulties. He picked up the steps inside six days and that’s how Kottichetham was carried out not too long ago,” says Devika.
Tv director Rajesh Kadamba visited her Kalari in Palakkad when the workshop was in progress. When he noticed the efficiency, Rajesh was eager on archiving it. Regardless of Devika’s preliminary reluctance, Arun additionally felt that it have to be recorded as he had no thought when he would be capable to come to India once more. Given the current circumstances, Devika feels it was a good suggestion to have archived it.
Happy with the reception to the video, Devika says the entire expertise has opened a brand new path for her as she plans to discover the dynamics of the dance kind for a male style. “I’m engaged on many objects that swimsuit the male vitality for the dance kind. I really feel it is going to push the boundaries of the artwork kind,” asserts Devika who cherishes dancer-actor Vineeth Radhakrishnan’s compliments for the piece.
Furthermore, she factors out that as quickly as they’d completed the preliminaries of the workshop, she had an instinct that Arun would come into his personal with ‘Kottichetham’.
Though she had composed it for a solo and had danced at prestigious venues in India, she says the dynamics of a duet got here as a nice shock. “We improvised lots nevertheless it got here out properly,” she says.
Delving into the roots of the piece, she remembers that this explicit a part of the Tamil epic was not very acquainted to many practitioners of music and dance.
“In line with anthropologists, Parayur Kootu Chakyan have to be from the present-day Paravur. The Chera King in these elements might have impressed the Chakyan to provide you with this piece. Kavalam sir had informed me that ‘Kottichetham’ imply a dance accompanied by clapping of arms. Later, I occurred to learn that it additionally signifies a second when these two entities, the female and the masculine, can’t be distinguished regardless of their dualities. That’s one more interpretation of Kottichetham.
“Nonetheless, Kavalam sir’s description can also be appropriate. After I narrated the background and carried out this in Chendamangalam, close to Paravur, one of many monks of a temple there informed me that there was an providing in some Siva temples there that concerned clapping and laughing. Referred to as ‘Kottum Chiriyum’, it was carried out solely by girls,” she explains. The priest informed her that her recital reminded him of that providing.
Devika, utterly stunned by the antiquity of the piece, goes on so as to add that it’s nonetheless a piece in progress.
However the truth that she had no plans to launch it, Devika says the pandemic has highlighted how unpredictable life has grow to be and so she determined to share it with the world.
“Kottichetham has been carried out by different dancers as properly, together with veteran Kanak Rele. However every particular person has approached it from a special perspective. On this case, it’s the duet that modified all the presentation of the piece,” she says with amusing.
Nonetheless, Devika believes that sure parts of the dance have to be improved upon.
“For me, Ardhanareeswara will not be being half male and half feminine. That’s extra of an artist’s impression. Greater than two individuals dancing, I felt that it pointed to the presence of the female and male in each particular person. It’s an interplay of energies inside oneself. It’s important to be in union with your self to be in the identical bandwidth as one other one who can also be in union with himself/herself. Solely then will the Ardhanareeswara idea obtain fullness,” avers the dancer and guru.