He was performing at a temple in Kollam, when he collapsed; despite being rushed to the hospital, he could not be saved.

Great loss to Kathakali Exponent Madavoor Vasudevan Nair collapses on stage diesWikipedia
news Death Wednesday, February 07, 2018 - 12:15

Renowned Kathakali exponent Madavoor Vasudevan Nair passed away in the middle of a performance in Kollam on Tuesday night.

The 89-year old was dancing at Agasthyamcode Mahadeva Temple at Anchal, in Kollam, when he collapsed on stage. He was rushed to a hospital, but unfortunately passed away.

He is survived by his wife, Savithri, and children, Madhu, Mini Babu and Ganga Thampi.

Vasuvden Nair is a winner of the Padma Bhushan. He was also honoured with several other awards, like the Kerala Kalamandalam Puraskaram, Sangeetha Nataka Academy and a fellowship from the Central Government.  

Fondly called Madavoor, he is a familiar figure among Kathakali lovers and is a well-respected figure in the cultural sphere of the state. He has effortlessly portrayed different veshams (types) in Kathakali – Pacha (Green), Kathi (knife) and Thadi (beard).

Born in Madavoor, in Thiruvananthapuram, he began learning Kathakali under the tutelage of Madavoor Parameswaran Pillai at the age of 12. He had also learnt the dance form under Kurinji Kunjan Panicker and Chengannur Raman Pillai. He continued his studies under Raman Pillai when he was 16-years-old, which lasted for 12 years.

Vasudevan Nair also was a faculty at the Tekkan Kalari (southern school of Kathakali) from 1967 to 1977 of the Kerala Kalamandalam – Kerala’s most reputed centre for learning and practising art. He is the founder-principal of Kalabharathi Kathakali School, at Pakalkkkuri in Thiruvananthapuram.

He had played ‘minukku’, one of the veshams in Kathakali, till he was 30. Later, he switched to other veshams including kathi, the villainous male character.

“With the demise of Madavoor what we have lost is a unique artist. He mastered pacha, kathi and minukku veshams in Kathakali. Joining the sorrow felt by the Kathakali community and his family,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in his condolence message.

Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala said that Madavoor had taken the glory of Kathakali to new heights.

On January 29, Thullal artist Kalamandalam Geethanandan died on stage during a performance in Thrissur.



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