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Ashtakalasam of Hanuman in Lavanasuravadham Kathakali

Shown in the video is Ashtakalasam in Lavanasuravadham, a Kathakali play. Characters on stage are Hanuman and Lord Rama’s sons Lava and Kusha. Hanuman is the monkey chieftain of Lord Rama.

Ashtakalasam comprises of eight dance types in Kathakali performed to express the enormous joy of a character. The steps are composed in the ‘Champa’ rhythm and require great mastery for an artiste to perform.

Lavanasuravadham is based on a poignant story from Ramayana, the great Indian epic. Sita, abandoned by her husband Lord Rama, spends an anonymous life in a forest with her two sons Lava and Kusha. Without knowing who he was the youngsters defeat Hanuman in a fight. They bring the captive enemy to their mother.

Sita and Hanuman are surprised when they meet after long years. Sita asks the boys to free Hanuman and engages in a friendly chat with her master’s companion.

Hanuman is overjoyed when he learns that Lava and Kusha are the sons of his master. The character’s extreme pleasure is expressed through Ashtakalasam. Lavanasuravadham was written by Amrithasasthrikal, a 19th century poet.