The Gandhi Seva Sadan- Kathakali and Classic Arts Academy located at Perur in Palakkad District of Kerala shares an eminent spot when it comes to training in Kathakali with other premier centres in the State like the Kerala Kalamandalam, and P.S.V. Natyasangham. Established in 1953 as a cultural wing of Gandhi Seva Sadan, the training center for Kathakali popularly known as Kathakali Sadanam came into existence due to the undying spirit of its founder Mr. K. Kumaran, who was a freedom fighter and a patron of art forms.
Soon after its inception, the Kathakali Sadanam gained prominence as a much sought after center for Kathakali training, and in 1973, the center attained the status of an independent unit. Kathakali Sadanam in its course of existence as a center of repute celebrated its golden jubilee in the year 2003.
Located in a beautiful campus in the village of Perur near Ottapalam in the district of Palakkad, the center of attraction here is the semi-circular indoor auditorium, which can accommodate around 800 people.
The center offers both long-term as well as short-term courses in Kathakali. All courses are conducted in the traditional Gurukula System were the teacher and the pupil stay together throughout the duration of the course. There are courses spread over 6 to 8 years in Kathakali Dance & Music, with another set of courses in Kathakali Make-up and Orchestra with durations of 5 to 6 years. Among those selected for diplomas courses, outstanding students are paid stipends to meet their tuition fees and boarding expenses.
The short-term training courses in Kathakali offered by the center are basically meant for foreigners and students from outside Kerala. Short-term training programmes are usually held during the period from August to March. For students interested to undergo intensive training, Kathakali Sadanam provides the assistance of special tutors. Over the years, the center has witnessed quite a good number of students from abroad, who had undergone training in various disciplines of Kathakali.
Some of the eminent personalities who were faculties of Kathakali Sadanam at various point of
time itself stand testimony to the current status of the center as a leading center for learning Kathakali. These masters who held the reigns of various departments at Kathakali Sadanam include Padmasree Mani Madhava Chakkair, Padmasree Guru Kunchu Kurup, Thekkinkattil Ramunni Nair, Keezhpadam Kumaran Nair, Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair, Kalamandalam Padmanabhan Nair, etc.
Kathakali Sadanam, true to its reputation takes the credit for its contribution of some renowned Kathakali artistes. These personalities who have cast a unique impression in the field of Kathakali performance include Sadanam Krishnankutty, Mattannur Sankarankutty, Sadanam Narayanan Namboodiri, Sadanam Ramankutty, Sadanam Balakrishnan, Sadanam Vasudevan, Sadanam Sreedharan, Sadanam Divakaran, Sadanam Vasudevan etc.
Members of Kathakali Sadanam have performed at different venues in foreign countries, which include many countries in Europe and in the former Soviet Union. Their performances have enthralled many a gathering in venues abroad, winning accolades from one and all.
Kathakali Sadanam at Perur in Palakkad District of Kerala over the years has become a prominent center for understanding and learning one of the popular performing art forms of Kerala viz. Kathakali. The center is today a repository of excellence in various aspects of Kathakali training and is well known for its repertoire of stalwarts, comprising acclaimed masters and enterprising students.
Post Gandhi Seva Sadan,
Kerala. Tel: 91-491-872263. Fax: 91-491-872263
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