Biography of Madavoor Vasudevan Nair -

Biography of Madavoor Vasudevan Nair

Biography of Madavoor Vasudevan Nair


That Kathakali Legend (1929-2018)

MADAVOOR Vasudevan Nair one of the best performers of Kerala’s awe-inspiring artistic form of art, Kathakali, passed away on the 6th of February, 2018, during a performance in the Agasthamcode Mahadevi Temple located in
Anchal. He was 89 years old. He remained committed to the art form throughout his life and never thought of taking off his shoes. He breathed his last doing what he enjoyed the most performing a role on stage, in front of people who were enthralled by the art and his passionate supporters.

born in Madavoor located in Thiruvananthapuram on the 7th of April 1929. Vasudevan Nair, the son of Rama Kurup was a renowned folk dancer who was proficient with Kambadakali and Kuthiyottam He began learning Kathakali in the early years of 12 and his first instructor was Madavoor Parameswara Pillai who he learned the foundations of the dance. Then he was under the guidance of Kurinji Kunjan Panticker and Padmashri Raman Pillai for 12 consecutive years beginning at 17 years old. Raman Pillai was the one and only instructor in the Kathakali style, also known as Kaplingadan an exquisite style.

It was practiced in South Kerala. Vasudevan Nair made the most of this opportunity to learn the different shades and nuances of Kathakali and was then eager to start his journey as an artist.

The veteran gained fame for his ability to play various roles, including Minukku, Pachai, Kathi, and Vellathaadi However, he showed an uncanny love of Kathi or roles as villains. Some of the most well-known characters he brought to life on stage included Ravanan, Duryodhanan, Keechakan, Jarasandhan, Banan, Kamsan, Hiranyakasipu, and Narakasuran. He was also skilled in portraying puranic characters such as Hanuman, Hamsam, and Kaataalan. His incarnations of Minukku characters like Brahmanan and Mannaan also earned many admirers. Nair was a renowned person in the dance world because of his ability to perform diverse Evesham-s (roles) within Kathakali. He entertained audiences by performing the navarasa-s’ dance with an abundance of elegance and grace.

Biography of Madavoor Vasudevan Nair
Biography of Madavoor Vasudevan Nair

His goal was to bring back the traditional fashion of Kathakali but also to ensure it was still acceptable to modern viewers. At the beginning of his career, Nair performed female roles too, and with grace. He was blessed with the opportunity to perform alongside many of the greats of the day over more than five decades. Legendary critics and performers lavished praise on him in recognition of his impressive performances. He was a professor at an institution known as Thekkan Kalari affiliated with Kerala Kalamandalam in 1968. He was also the Founder-Principal for Kalabharathi Another well-known dance-based organization.


Vasudevan Nair throughout his lengthy and storied career, performed across the country as well. The countries in which the shows he staged successfully to full houses included Singapore, Hong Kong, Fijis, Indonesia, Canada, Australia as well as Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

Biography of Madavoor Vasudevan Nair

Nair has been awarded numerous accolades due to his skill in the art. These included among them an award from the Kerala Kalamandalam Puraskaram and the Sangeet Natak Academy Fellowship from the Central Government. He was among the few practitioners of the traditional Kaplingadan method of Kathakali and has taught and mentored several students who have now been capable of carving their niches in the art. Alongside being a performer Nair had a gifted singer and an ‘A’-grade performer in Kathakali music for his organization,

All India Radio for three years. Madavoor Vasudevan Nair has left his mark on the next generation as well as on current artists and novices his exquisite performances can serve as benchmarks for excellence as well as provide valuable insights into the awe-inspiring levels the art of dance could reach. The appeal of his work was not limited to the discerning however, but also to people who adored his performance and whose continuous encouragement and encouragement pushed him to pursue his dance career to the final. His Padma Bhushan award conferred on him by the Government of India was a worthy tribute to a legendary figure of our time.

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