Pavakathakali artistes awarded by Sangeet Natak Akademi New Delhi and Dakshinachithra Chennai

21 02 2011

Ravi Gopalan Nair and K C Ramakrishnan, photo by Sreeni Sreedharan

K V Ramakrishnan and K C Ramakrishnan

Senior Pavakathakali artistes at Natanakairali – Research and Performing Centre for Traditional Arts,  K.V.Ramakrishnan, K.C.Ramakrishnan and Ravi Gopalan Nair have been awarded this year.

K.V Ramakrishnan and K.C Ramakrishnan have been jointly selected for this year’s CentralSangeet Natak Akademi Award for their valuable lifetime contributions towards the artform. The award comprises of Rs.One Lakh, Citation and Angavasthra.

Ravi Gopalan Nair, puppeteer, puppetmaker and performer trainer is being awarded byDakshinachitra, Chennai for lifetime excellence in the field of performing arts.

K.V Ramakrishnan and K.C.Ramakrishnan are sons of the late Pavakathakali artistes Velayudhan Pandaram and Chamu Pandaram of Paruthipully village in Palakkad district. They used to perform Pavakathakali from house to house. It was through the resuscitation of this indigeneous folk artform that was underatken at Natanakairali from 1982 that the artform got a new lease of life. Both these artistes had participated as master puppeteers in presenting the pavakathakali plays including Kalyanasaugandhikam, Duryodhanavadham and Dakshayagam directed by G.Venu at Natanakairali. They have performed at many venues in India and abroad.

Ravi Gopalan Nair, Wooden Puppet maker, Puppeteer, Wooden Mask maker, Performer trainer, Photographer, Artistic Director for many of the Performing groups of Kerala and West Bengal., He has been trained by his father ,Gopalan Nair reputed artist in painting sculpture and photography.He worked as an assistant to G.Venu (Director of Natana Kairali the work on revival of lesser known traditional arts of Kerala including Pava Kathakali.). 1981 -1983 he was selected in the revival project of Pava Kathakali as a trainee in Puppet making, and  the manipulation.With the Financial support of Prohelvatia (the ministry of culture in Switzerland), he studied and practiced the avant-garde theatre movements of Europe with main focus on the Para – Theatre work of Jerzy Growtosky.He has worked with several other traditional artforms, travelled extensively performing and participating in several imporatnt festivals, symposiums etc in India and abroad.

Pavakathakali is a form of glove puppetry presented by moving the puppets using fingers. It is known as the Kathakali for children. The Natanakairali Pavakathakali troupe performed  recently at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts and Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi

Kapila Venu
Director, Natanakairali