Kathakali maestro Vasudevan Nair dead

Kathakali maestro Vasudevan Nair dead

Kathakali maestro Vasudevan Nair dead

Kathakali exponent and Padma Bhushan recipient Madavoor Vasudevan Nair died after collapsing on stage during a performance, late on Tuesday night. He was 88.

Nair was performing at the Agasthyacode Mahadeva Temple in Anchal, in Kollam district. He was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead.

The iconic artiste excelled in Katthi (antagonist) characters including Duryodhanan, Ravanan and Kamsan. At the temple in Anchal, as he collapsed on stage, he was on his last turn as Ravanan in the story Ravanavijayam.

Born in 1929, in Thiruvananthapuram, Nair started learning Kathakali when he was 13. At 17, he became a disciple of acclaimed artiste Chengannur Raman Pillai. Nair was celebrated for his mastery over the Kaplingattu style - a purist form of Kathakali - and was part of the faculty in Thekkan Kalari (a southern school of the classical dance form) at the Kerala Kalamandalam for about nine years. He has also served as principal of Kalabharathi, a performing art institute in Thiruvananthapuram.

An artiste who has performed on stages across India and abroad, Nair was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2011 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1997. He is survived by his wife Savithri, son Madhu and daughters Mini and Ganga Thampi.

In January, acclaimed Ottanthullal artiste Kalamandalam Geethanandan had died after collapsing during a performance, at a Mahavishnu temple in Thrissur.

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