Kathakali Maestro Guru Chemancheri Kunhiraman Nair | 16 Mar 2021

Why in News

Recently, the Kathakali actor Guru Chemancheri Kunhiraman Nair died at the age of 105 in Kozhikode, Kerala.

  • He played a significant role in making Indian classical dances popular in Kerala.

Key Points

  • Born:
    • Guru Chemancheri Kunhiraman Nair was born on 16th June, 1916.
  • Career:
    • He studied at Kalladikkodan school of Kathakali and was specialised in “Kalladikodan” style.
    • The Kalladikodan shailee was created by Chathu Panicker Aasaan, and is one among the three major styles of Kathakali. The other two are Vettathu and Kaplingadu.
    • Kalladikodan style gives equal importance to the three aspects of nritta (the dance movements in their basic form), nritya (expressional component i.e. mudras or gestures) and natya (the dramatic element of the dance i.e. the imitation of characters).
    • His one of the most popular portrayals on stage is that of Lord Krishna and Sudama (known as Kuchela, mostly in Southern India).
  • Awards:
    • Guru Chemancheri was awarded with Padma Shri in 2017
  • About Kathakali:
    • Kathakali is one among the eight classical dances of India.
      • It is a blend of dance, music and acting. The dance involves dramatisation of stories, adapted mostly from the Indian epics.
      • The roles generally portrayed include kings, gods and demons, the vocalists narrate the legend and the percussionists play the musical instruments.
    • Kathakali involves use of heavy make-up and stunning costumes (elaborate masks, huge skirts and big head-dresses).
      • Different facial colours are used to indicate different mental stages & character, for example green- nobility, black- wickedness and red patches- combining royalty & evil.

Eight Classical Dances of India

  • Bharatnatyam (Tamil Nadu)
  • Kathak (North India)
  • Kathakali (Kerala)
  • Mohiniyattam (Kerala)
  • Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh)
  • Odissi (Odisha)
  • Sattriya (Assam)
  • Manipuri (Manipur)

Source: TH