Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair
|Born||(1914-03-27)27 March 1914 meenam, makam|
Cheruthazham, Kannur, British India (present-day Kerala, India)
|Died||(1990-08-15)15 August 1990|
Tripunithura, Kerala, India
|Spouse||Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma|
Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair (27 March 1914 – 15 August 1990) was a Kathakali dancer from Kerala in India.
He learned and exhibited various styles of Kathakali.
A Padma Shri and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee,
A native of Cheruthazham in Payyanur Taluk of Kannur district in North Malabar, Kerala he was initiated into Kathakali in his early teenage years under the tutelage of Guru Chandu Panikker. By 19, he got noticed by Kerala Kalamandalam co-founder, poet Vallathol Narayana Menon, and inducted Krishnan Nair into his institute, then near Mulankunnathukavu, north of Thrissur in central Kerala. It was there that Krishnan Nair was trained under gurus of varied style—like Pattikkamthodi Ravunni Menon, Thakazhi Kunchu Kurup, Kavalappara Narayanan Nair and Mani Madhava Chakyar.
Krishnan Nair had his higher studies on Rasa-abhinaya (facial emotions which stressed on eye exercises) from the celebrated Kudiyattam maestro Natyacharya Māni Mādhava Chākyār, who too won the Padma Shri. Krishnan Nair was deeply influenced by Shri. Chakyar.
With his calibre to perform any challenging role and a flexible mindset that prompted him to occasionally do minor roles (with some new elements), Krishnan Nair was probably the pioneering Kathakali artiste who was a hardcore professional—in the sense that he was the arguably the first to dictate the rate for each of his performances. It was a watershed move in an art form that had huge feudal hangovers and its entailing element of servility that patrons expected from the artistes.
Krishnan Nair had a penchant for realistic portrayal of characters and situations that made him more popular in the Travancore belt of south Kerala. In fact, his outlandish style had made him a less acknowledged master in central and north Kerala—the very places that groomed his art in his early days.
Krishnan Nair, towards the second half of his life, had made Tripunithura near Kochi his home. Kathakali was always traditionally performed by men. In 1975 a women's group was formed and they were trained by Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair. The Tripunithura Kathakali Kendram Ladies Troupe went on to national recognition.
Krishnan Nair died on Indian Independence Day, 15 August 1990, aged 76.
Padma Award winners of Kerala
|Padma Bhushan (Male)|
|Padma Bhushan (Female)|
|Padma Shri (Male)|
|Padma Shri (Female)|
(*)By birth - (#)By ethnicity - (!)By domicile
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award Winners of Kerala
|Carnatic Music - Vocal|
|Instrumental - Carnatic Violin|
|Instrumental - Mridangam|
|Creative and Experimental Music|
|Dance - Kathakali|
|Dance - Mohiniattam|
|Major Traditions of Dance and Dance Theatre|
|Music for Dance|
|Theatre - Acting|
|Theatre - Direction|
|Theatre - Traditional / Folk / Dance / Music / Puppetry|
|Performing Arts in the Media|
Recipients of Padma Shri in Art