Trivandrum: Classical dancer and actress Manju Warrier has set her sights on Sanskrit theatre. She intends to make her entry by enacting Shakuntala in "Abhijnana Shakuntalam", a popular Sanskrit play.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is expected to inaugurate the play at the Tagore Theatre on July 18. Manju's own production house, Manju Warrier Productions, is producing "Abhijnana Shakuntalam". This is a tribute to theatre personality Kavalam Narayana Panicker, who passed away last month.
While making the announcement, Manju said it was Kavalam Sir's wish to bring the 'Abhijnana Shakuntalam' to stage.
"I had the fortune to associate with Kavalam Sir during the last phase of his legendary life when he trained me for Abhijnana Shakuntalam," she told reporters. "After his death, his family and I decided to fulfil his wish," the actress said.
Sopanam Institute of Performing Arts and Research, founded by Kavalam, would stage the play and cultural organisation 'Swaralaya' would host the programme. The play, like the other Sanskrit productions of Kavalam, presents the twin opportunity to take part in the experiments in modern Malayalam theatre and also reach out to the youth to instil an interest in Sanskrit and ancient Indian culture, Manju added.
Kalyani Krishnan, Kavalam's granddaughter and secretary of Sopanam said Kavalam's legacy in theatre and in performing arts would be carried forward. "We have been producing Sanskrit plays since 1978. It is our privilege that Manju is with us in our effort to continue with the experiments in theatre and celebration of art that my grandfather started," she said.
The theatre doyen who successfully blended the classical tradition and folk elements in the format of contemporary theatre, passed away on June 26 aged 88.