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World's first sci-fi novel adapted into Mohiniyattam for Samanwayam 2023


The world's first science fiction novel, "Somnium" penned by 17th-century German scientist Johannes Kepler, is poised for an innovative adaptation into Mohiniyattam.

This groundbreaking initiative will mark its premiere at the prestigious national dance-music festival, Samanwayam 2023, scheduled for December 25 in Palakkad.

Titled "Nilakkanavu" (Moonlit Chronicle), this unique project blends art, science fiction, and India's cultural heritage, breaking new ground by adapting a science fiction novel into a classical dance performance - an unprecedented artistic collaboration.

Filmmaker Vinod Mankara, a national award-winner, shared that "Nilakkanavu" stands as a tribute to the diligent scientists behind India's historic Chandrayaan Mission. The visionary production conceptualised by Mankara and executed by the esteemed danseuse Gayathri Madhusudan promises an innovative experience.

Adding depth to the performance, national award-winning composer Ramesh Narayan has crafted the musical landscape of "Nilakkanavu."

Mankara highlighted the project's aim to transport audiences on an extraordinary journey, uniting astronomy, mythology, and the captivating world of science fiction. It vividly portrays lunar exploration, not just narrating the voyage to the moon's distant shores but also delving into the scientific essence behind it.

Drawing from Kepler's pioneering laws that continue to influence modern rocket technology, the production delves into lunar astronomy, aiming to cultivate scientific awareness through the language of dance, music, and poetry.

The fusion of artistic forms aspires not only to captivate the current generation but also to foster a scientific temperament among audiences.

Somnium was written in Latin by Kepler in 1608 and published posthumously in 1634.

In the book, an Icelandic boy and his witch mother learn of an island named Levania (the Moon) from a daemon. According to the daemon, there is a pathway between the island of Levania and Earth. When the pathway is open, daemons can take humans to the island in four hours.

In the story, Levania does not seem to move but the Earth seems to orbit around it just as the Moon seems to orbit the Earth. The book is notable for incorporating celestial movements and how Earth may look from the Moon in the story.

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TAGS:MohiniyattamSamanwayam 2023NilakkanavuSomniumFirst Sci-Fi Novel
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