At 80, Kathakali doyen wishes to perform more

Octogenarian Kathakali maestro, Kalamandalam Gopi, who is still busy performing the classical dance drama in the state and abroad, says he wants to enact more variety of characters.

It is not the nature of the roles but the satisfaction and happiness of the audience that matters to him the most, the Padmashree awardee said.

Art buffs in Thrissur, the cultural capital of Kerala, celebrated his 80th birthday with much fanfare, by showcasing Kathakali and other cultural programmes for four days.

A host of dignitaries from various walks of life including popular actor Mohanlal, a known Kathakali buff and an ardent fan of Gopi, took part in various sessions of the event, titled ‘Haritham’.

“I am speechless seeing this love and affection of art buffs. I am more happy that all these four days, people have got an opportunity to enjoy Kathakali at its best day and night,” Gopi told.

The artist also said the birthday celebration had virtually turned out to be an awareness drive about the dance drama and expressed confidence that its future is safe in the hands of the art-loving young generation.

The real success of an artist lies in making a layman who has no idea about the technicalities of the art form, enjoy it, he said.

“A dedicated and hard-working generation is being shaped up and they can successfully connect this art form with commoners,” he said.

A committee, chaired by state agriculture minister V.S Sunil Kumar, organised the four-day-long birthday celebration programme, which was marked by huge participation of art buffs.


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