Chenganoor Raman Pillai

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Guru Chenganoor Raman Pillai
GuruChenganurRamanPillai.jpg
Padma Shri Guru Chenganoor Raman Pillai, Celebrated Kathakali artist.
Head of palace kathakali yogam to the Travancore Maharaja for 65 years.
Personal details
Born Raman Pillai
16 January 1886
pandanad, Chengannur, Kingdom of Travancore, British India
(now in Kerala, India)
Died 11 November 1980(1980-11-11) (aged 94)
pandanad, Chengannur, Kerala, India
Nationality Indian
Profession Kathakali artist, Kathakali teacher
Religion Hindu

Guru Chenganoor Raman Pillai ചെങ്ങന്നൂര്‍ രാമന്‍പിള്ള in Malayalam, also spelt Chengannur Raman Pillai (1886–1980), was a celebrated Kathakali artist from Kerala in south India. He was known for his brilliant portrayal of the anti-heroic Kathi roles on stage, and was the head of palace kathakali yogam to the Travancore Maharaja in a career spanning almost 65 years.

Raman Pillai, born in Chenganoor on 16 January 1886, was a specialist in the Kathakali southern style called Kapplingad, which gives prominence to abhinaya (acting). He wrote Thekkan Chittayilulla Abhyasa Kramangal, considered one of the major training manuals on southern-style Kathakali.

He was a disciple of Thakazhi Kesava Panikker, Mathur Kunhupilla Panikker and Ambalappuzha Kunhikrishna Panikker. Another Kathakali master, Chennthala Kochupillai Panikker, helped him to gain popularity in his art.

Raman Pillai had his masterpieces in roles like Duryodhanan, Ravanan and Keechakan, Jarasandhan, Banan and Kamsan. He also performed as Hanuman, Hamsam and the black-bearded Kaatalan (woodsman).

Raman Pillai's leading disciples include Madavoor Vasudevan Nair,[1] Haripad Ramakrishna Pillai[2] and Mankompu Sivasankara Pillai,[3] Guru Gopinath,[4] Chennithala Chellappan Pillai. They all studied under him as per the Gurukula system.

The documentary film Chenganoor Raman Pillai profiles his life and contributions. He died on 11 November 1980.

Awards & Honours[edit]

Padma Shri Award in 1971 [5] He received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1963.[6]

Books[edit]

Thekkan Chittayilulla Abhyasa Kramangal published in 1973 [7]

References[edit]