Kottakkal Chandra Sekharan

Shri Kottakal Chandrasekharan was born in 1945 in Naduvattam village in Kerala, and was groomed in Kathakali in the traditional Gurukulam system under several eminent gurus. He began his training in 1957 under Chethalloor Kutta Panicker, and specialized in the art at the P.S.V. Natyasangham of Kottakal as a student of Vazhankata Kunchu Nair and Kottakal Krishnan Kutty Nair from 1960 to 1973. He belongs thus to the Kalluvazhi sampradaya of Kathakali. Shri Chandrasekharan is known today as an outstanding Vesham artist who excels in almost all the Paccha and Kathi roles. He has gained popularity particularly for his performance in the roles of Nala, Arjuna, Bhima, Karna, and Narakasura. He has represented India at the Golden Jubilee celebration of India’s Independence held in Switzerland, and has besides performed in several countries including China, Korea, Britain, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. He has also conducted Kathakali work- shops and participated in conferences at national and international levels. Shri Chandrasekhararn has served as Principal, Chief Trainer, and main Vesham artist of the P.S.V. Natyasangham where he has groomed many Kathakali artists. A commemo- rative volume, Shashtyabdha- purthi Smaranika, was published in 2005 to mark his sixtieth anniversary. He has been conferred honours for his work including the Vazhenkata Kunchu Nair Award (1990), the V.S. Sharma Endowment Award of Kerala Kalamandalam (2000), and the Veerasrinkala award given by the Zamoothiri Raja of Calicut Shri Kottakal Chandra- sekharan receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Kathakali.