Friday 3 February 2023

Book Review - Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, the Mozart of Kathakali - Prof. Z. K. Peter

For Dr. Mohan Gopinath, Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair on stage will always remain a legend who transforms himself so magically into the character that the art and the artist become one. Be it Nalan, Bhiman, Arjunan or characters with dark shades like Keechakan and Rugmangadan, Krishnan Nair asan could emote any role effortlessly. Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair (1914-1990) was one of the most renowned Kathakali artists and perhaps the greatest in the history of the four-century-old classical dance drama of Kerala.

Dr. Mohan Gopinath's book Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, the Mozart of Kathakali goes beyond a mere biography or chronicle of the actor. The focus of the book is on examining the dance drama (Kathakali) from different perspectives, and by doing so it is expected that the reader will get a sharper insight into the complexities of this dance form and the difficulties involved in producing a mature actor. The author examines the changes and interpretations that Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair brought to the genre which are relevant even to this day.

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