Performing Arts

The Epic Love Story – ‘Cilappatikaram’ Through Classical Dance Opera

Photography by Jerin Mathew

The Epic Tale of an Anklet – Cilappatikaram was staged at Chowdiah Hall on October 7th 2016 with the artists Divya Ravi as Kannaki, Mithun Shyam as Kovilan and Prateeksha Kashi as Madhavi. This epic love story is the most talked about story over the ages. It also brings into light about the lives of people of different strata during this period.

How is this epic tale of love story staged?

Primarily, it started with reading the epic in dip-stick measures, then it was converted into seven scenes ensuring that the music and choreography falls right into place. As an effort to revive the importance of Sanskrit, the songs were given a touch and blend of Sanskrit in it.

And the story goes like this…

This epic tale of love story was originated from Tamil mythology, it’s about Kannaki’s feats, triumphs and her ultimate transformation into the status of a Goddess.

Kovilan who fell under the love-spell of Matavi made him leave Kannaki. But sooner due to Matavi’s scheming ways, lies and extravagant habits made him disillusioned and bankrupt. Thus this brought him back to Kannaki, who was steadfast in her love and asked Kovilan to sell her anklet which was filled with gems so as to regain the lost wealth. When he went to sell the anklet, a crooked goldsmith who had actually stolen the Queen’s anklet which was similar to this one told the King that he has found the thief. Thus Kovilan was accused of being stolen the Queen’s anklet and hence beheaded. As soon as Kannaki came to know about her husband’s death, she turned into a fierce woman who hastily  went to meet the King and proved that the anklet was hers and he had killed Kovilan by mistake. She stormed into the city and turned the whole city into ashes as the outcome of her burning anger.

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