Lavanasura Vadham Kathakali by Kalanilayam Gopi Ashaan – an evening of delightful performance on the occasion of Keraleeyam 2010 by KALA Abu Dhabi.

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Lavanasura Vadham Kathakali by Kalanilayam Gopi Ashaan – an evening of delightful performance on the occasion of Keraleeyam 2010 by KALA Abu Dhabi.


Keli by Kalamandalam Shivadas and troupe.

On chenda – Kalamandalam Shivadas, On Madhalam – Kalanilayam Prakashan, On Chengala – Kalanilayam Rajeev, On Elathalam Kalanilayam Babu

Inaugural function of Keraleeyam 2010

Photos of the performance by Potent Shinz (member Passionate Photographers group)

Photos of the performance by Saleem Abu Alyazia (member Passionate Photographers group)

Lavanasura Vadham Kathakali by Kalanilayam Gopi Ashaan – an evening of delightful performance on the occasion of Keraleeyam 2010 by KALA Abu Dhabi.

KALA ABU DHABI organized “KERALEEYAM-2010” – as part of the inaugural function of newly elected Managing Committee for the year 2010-11 on 24th of June Thursday evening at India Social & Cultural Center, Abu Dhabi.

A delightful Kathakali performance by renowned Kathakali artist and guru Sree Kalanilayam Gopi Asan and his team was the attraction of the evening for the packed auditorium of ISCC main hall. A thayambaka, Keli and Mohiniyattam dance performances added to the list of memorable performances of that evening.

The Kathakali was based on the story “Lavanasura Vadham” , a section from Ramayana where where Rama is ruling after duly completing his 14 years in exile. A casual conversation of his two sub-ordinates, a washerman and his washerwoman, where it appeared as if there is a black mark on the purity of Sita who had spent a few months alone in Lanka under the custody of Ravana. The washerman tells the washerwoman that I will not take you back in my house if you spend a single night outside even though our King Rama took back his wife Sita. The word spread around of this conversation and although, this comparison is quite unjust, Rama, respecting popular opinion decided to send Sita into the forest. Sita was pregnant and also contemplating to visit some sages in the forest and take their blessings. Sri Rama requested Lakshmana to leave Sita in the forest and come back. The unsuspecting Sita was left in the forest but fortunately near the ashram of Valmiki. Valmiki took Sita into the ashram and consoled her. Soon Sita delivered twins. Sage Valmiki named them Kusha and Lava. He taught them all the sciences and arts of the time. And they grew up with the sage. At that time, in the nearby forest lived a demon called Lavanasura. He was terrorising the sages who lived there. They complained to Rama who sent his brother Shatrughna to deal with the demon. Shatrughna kills the demon. Then starts an Aswamedha yaga in which a decorated horse was sent out followed by a mighty army led by Shatrughna. The horse came near to Valmiki’s ashram. Lava and Kusha tied up the horse, and fought with Shatrughna and defeated him. Rama also came for battle but went back without fighting.

Rama then asked Hanuman to bring the Horse. However Lava and Kusha tied up Hanuman (rather Hanuman allows himself to be tied up) and brought him to Sita. Sita was astonished and immensely happy to see Hanuman. She ordered him to be released from the knots. Hanuman enquired about the well being of Sita and also told her that Rama had made a statue of Sita for completing the yaga rites. This made Sita happy. Hanuman went back happily with the Horse.


Hanuman – Kalanilayam Gopi Aashan
Seetha – Kalanilayam Vinod Kumar
Lava – Aishwarya Gopi
Kusha – Kavya Pushapangadhan
Chenda – Kalamandalam Shivadas
Madhalam – Kalanilayam Prakashan
Music & Chengala – Kalanilayam Rajeev
Elathalam – Kalanilayam Babu
Chutti – Janardhanan
Commentary, and presentation by : Kalanilayam Dr. Rajeev

It is the fourth time that KALA Abu Dhabi is bringing Kathakali performance to the art lovers of UAE. The enthusiasm and interest by organizers convey a message that this traditional art form of Kerala will have many more stages in future. Utilising this opportunity a demonstration and Kathakali Pada Kacheri was held by Thiranottam in Dubai on Friday and a similar programme was held at Abu Dhabi Malayali Samajam. Both programmes were attended by large number of Kathakli enthusiasts and the narration by Kalanilayam Dr. Rajeev, an oncology specialist working with Regional Cancer Centre Trivandrum was a boon to many to understand the art form and create added interest to the novice.

Looking forward to many more performances by Guru Kalanilayam Gopi Ashan and troup in the region.

Those who wish to contact him and book for performances, may contact him on the following address:

Kalanilayam Gopi
Sangameswara Avenue
West Nada Irinjalakuda
Thrissur Dist
Kerala, India
Tel: 0944 76 733 82 / 0480 2828 382