'Sopanam' the word meant that with constant practice to reach a noble aim. With traditional way of practice and study, to bring and improve 'Panchavadyam' and allow one and all to learn its nuances under one roof is the prime motto of Sopanam school of Panchavadyam.
The idea to start a school for teaching Panchavadyam has come to the mind of Santhosh Alankode, who is the Director of Sopanam and Instructor, during 2009 at the devine temple of Sri Kozhissiamgattu Bhagavathi. The fulfilment of this idea could materialise after several discussions with the temple committee on 9th December 2010 with the whole hearted support of the people surrounded the temple especially Sri. Jagesh Patteth and Sri. Vijeesh Patteth. The other names to be remembered are Sri. P.T. Subrahmanian, Temple Trustee Sri. Naripparambu Manakal Vasudevan Namboodiri, Sri. Govindarajan Master, Sri. P.K. Preman, the Sreedurga Committee members, Sri. Anvar Valayamkulam and many other well wishers around the temple. Apart from this there is an advisory committee includes Sri. Alankode Leelakrishnan, Sri. P.T. Subrahmanian, Adv. P. Rajagopala Menon, Sri.Mohan Alankode,sri.Prakashan Mambra,Sri.Kurungat Vasudevan Naboothiri,Sri.Unni Sukapuram,Sri. Adaat Vasudhevan Mash,Sri.Koonathara Ramachandhra Pulayavar,Sri.K V Unnikrishnan Mookuthala,Advocate Sri.K T Ajayan Melam Charitable Trust Valanchery,Sri.Nariparambil Mana Vasudhevan Namboothiri Valayamkulam who are giving timely advises and instructions for the improvement of the school.
The 'Sopanam' had inaugurated by lighting the lamp by the famous poet, social and cultural figure and famous speeker who took the name of 'Alankode' across the border of this village and state to every place of the world where keralites are living.
After a rigorous training and practice on 24th December 2011, the first bach of 101 students have performed their first public function. This has also turned out to be the first ever performance of Panchavadyam with 201 members which also become the first ever record and school won a place in the Limca Book of Records. The distribution of Limca certificates and the second anniversary has planned to be functioned during January second week of 2013.
Today, approximately 450 students are studying in the school with classes at Tavanur, Pazhanji and Thandilam Arayalikkal, Pothanur, Vellalur, Kumaranallur, Edapal apart from Valayamkulam. Approximately 15 girls have also started learning the nuances of Panchavadyam at the school. From this year, apart from Panchavadyam, school also started teaching 'Chenda' at Valayalamkulam, Thandilam ,Araylikkal, Vellalur, and Pothanoor and 20 students have already done their first performance.
There is no restriction on Religion-caste to accept the students at the school. All those who agree and abide by the rules and regulations of the school can join Sopanam for study of these art forms.
Since our aim is to spread the knowledge of these temple art forms outside Kerala, we would request you all to provide us as much as possible information/pictures of the erstwhile artists in this field. Sopanam's aim is to form a Universtity for these temple art forms of Kerala and a Research Centre. To aid this pursuit of us, we request all help from all of you.
This is perfromed with minimum 10 persons and with 16, 23, 33, 51, 101, 201 members combination.
Panchavadyam bases itself on the 14 beat adanta (also spelt atanta) thaalam (taal), but amusingly sticks to the pattern of the eight-beat chempata thaalam - at least until its last parts. Its pendulum beats in the first stage total `,792, and halves itself with each stage, making it 896 in the second, 448 in the third, 224 in the fourth and 112 in the fifth. After this, panchavadyam has a relatively loose second half with as many stages, the pendulum beats of which would now scale down to 56, 28, 14, 7 and three-and-a-half.
A Panchavadyam is anchored and led by the thimila artist at the centre of his band of instrumentalists, behind whom line up the ilathalam players. Opposite to them stand the madhalam players in a row, and behind them are the kompu players. Idakka players, usually totalling two, stand on both sides of the aisle separating the timila an dmadhalam line-up. A major panchavadyam will have artists totalling around 60.
8 persons for Single Thayambaka and 11 persons for Double Thayambaka.
Thayambaka, like panchavadyam or most chenda melams, is primarily a temple art, but it is also performed outside shrineslike on proscenium stages, open fields or pagentry grouns. As a ritual temple art, thayambaka is performed mostly at the annual festivals soon after the sunset ritual of deeparadhana inside the sanctum sanctorum, following which the deity is brought to the nadappura (open hall inside the temple precincts). In such cases too, artful exhibition of skills remain prominent, yet the performance is regarded as an offering to the presiding god/goddess
Can be arranged with minimum 11 and upto 101 perons.
Minimum 4 persons.
Madhalam -5, Thalam -5, Chenda - 3 = 13 persons.
Fusion with different musical instruments.
A detailed class on all instruments used in Panchavadyam, Thayambaka etc.