KERALA

Kalamandalam awards announced

THRISSUR OCT. 31. The Kerala Kalamandalam fellowship and awards for the year 2001 were announced here today.

At a press conference, the chairman of the Kalamandalam, V.R. Prabhodhachandran Nair, and the secretary, Kalpetta Balakrishnan, said the Kathakali artiste, Kalamandalam Gopi, had been selected for the fellowship. Mr. Gopi is the former principal of the Kalamandalam and had earlier received the Central and Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademi awards and Kalamandalam awards. He is noted for his portrayal of `pacha' characters and for the deft portrayal of characters like `Balabhadar' and `Raudrabheeman'.

The Kathakali artistes, Asan V.P. Kannan Pattali and Chertala Thankappa Panikker, have been selected for the 2001 Kalamandalam awards. The awards carry a purse of Rs. 5001, a statuette and a citation. Mr Pattali, who is an exponent of the Kadathanadan Kalari style, bagged the award for `Vesham' (character).

Mr. Thankappa Panikker, a noted Kathakali singer, had been able to cut across the North and South barriers in Kathakali music. The noted children's writer and former publicity and research officer with the Kalamandalam, Leela Namboothirippad (Sumangala) has been selected for the 2001 Mukundaraja Memorial Prize. Kalamandalam Devaki has been selected for the Dr.V.S. Sharma Endowment Award, 2001. She was the first woman artiste to have been associated with `Thullal'. A student of the first `Thullal' batch of the Kalamandalam, Ms. Devaki now performs in and outside Kerala. She is a recipient of the Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademi award and Kunjan Memorial award. The award carries a purse of Rs. 4,250, a statuette and a citation. The `Mizhavu' exponent, P.K. Narayanan Nambiar, has been selected for the V. Ramakrishnapillai Memorial Award. The son of famous Koodiyattam artiste, Mani Madhavachakyar, Mr. Nambiar embellished Koodiyattam performances with his performance on the `Mizhavu'. A recipient of the Central and Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Academies, Mr. Nambiar is an authority on `Koodiyattam' and a noted artiste in `Padakam'. The V. Ramakrishnapillai Memorial Award have been bagged by three first year degree students of Kalamandalam_ Nikhila G.M. and Sabitha K.V. (Mohiniyattam), and Arun Variyar (Kathakali--woman character)_ who had secured the highest marks in the Higher Secondary Course under the Kalamandalam. Kalamandalam will honour four artistes_ the noted Kathakali `Acharya', Chemanjeri Kunhiraman Nair, the panchavadya

expert, Kalamandalam Thami, the Kathakali artiste, Mayyanad Kesavan Namboothiri, and Ramakrishnan Nair, Krishnattom artiste, for their contributions.

The annual conference of the Kalamandalam will be held at the Kalamandalam Koothambalam on November 9. The Information and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, M M Hassan will distribute the fellowship and awards at the function.

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