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Recognition of talent

Leena Chandran

Mathoor Govindankutty Asan is reputed for his portrayal of female roles.



VETERAN ACTOR: Mathoor Govindankutty Asan.

He is reputed for his brilliant performances of sthree veshams (female characters). A recipient of this year's Kendra Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Mathoor Govindankutty Asan was born into a family of artistes. Guided by his guru and father-in-law, Kudamaloor Karunakaran Nair, it was only a matter of time before Govindankuttty Asan carved a niche for himself in the hearts of Kathakali lovers.

Training

Starting his training at the age of 14, he had the fortune of learning under veterans like Nedumudy Kuttappa Panicker and Kurichi Kunjan Panicker. Later, with support and guidance from Kudamaloor Karunakaran Nair, he specialised in female roles, which helped made him popular. Damayanti, Lalitha, Urvashi, Mohini, Seetha, Panchali, Kunthi are some of the characters he has enacted.

He has donned purushaveshas like Krishna, Sudeva, Kuchela, Sundara Brahmana and Hamsa. Govindankuttty has also done kottuveshams with renowned artistes like Guru Kunchukurup, Vazhenkata Kunchu Nair, Guru Chengannur, Kurichi Kunjan Panicker, Mankulam Vishnu Namboothiri, Kalamandalam Gopi and Chennithala Chellappan Pillai.

Govindankutty also served as the Principal of Kudamaloor Kalakendram, a training centre devoted to Kathakali. The 66-year-old Govindankuttty is elated that the Kendra Sangeet Natak Akademi Award has revisited the family.

"In 1972, my father-in-law, Kudamaloor Karunakaran Nair, a veteran in sthree veshams was honoured with the same award."

He hopes to keep this tradition alive through his son, Muralikrishnan who is a familiar name in the new generation of artistes specialising in female roles.

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