Mohiniyattam Exponent Guru Kalamandalam Kshemavathy bags Nishagandhi Award 2019 from Government of Kerala
Kalamandalam Kshemavathy wins Nishagandhi Award 2019 from Government of Kerala for her contribution to Mohiniyattam
Mohiniyattam exponent, Guru Padmasree Kalamandala Kshemavathy is the recipient of this year’s Nishagandhi Award instituted by the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala. The award consists of Rs.1.5 lakh, a bronze statue of Bharatha Muni and a certificate of merit. Kerala Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran announced the award. Nishagandhi Puraskaram (Award) is being conferred on Kshemavathy for her contribution to the art form of Mohiniyattam both in the capacity as an exponent and as an academic. A jury, consisting of eminent personalities headed by the former Chief Secretary and poet, K Jayakumar, Promod Payyanur, Girija Chandran, Tourism Director, P Balakiran selected the winner of the award. The date of conferring the Nishagandhi Award is yet to be decided by the Government.
Hailing from Trissur district of Kerala, Kalamandalam Kshemavathy is one of the most accomplished exponent of Mohiniyattam, who purused her classical dance training from the renowned Kerala Kalamandalam. One of the senior most exponent of dance form, she has been contributing to the growth of Mohiniyattam for the past 50 years and counting.
Also seasoned in Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi art forms, Kshemavathy was more passionate about Mohiniyattam and pursued it vigorously to popularise it. Apart from that, Guru Kalamandalam Kshemavathy had performed in Kathakali as well.
Recognising her contributions to popularise the art form of Mohiniyattam, the nation honoured her by conferring Padhmashree in 2011. Before that the senior academician also bagged the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award for Bharatanatyam when she was 29. A slew of awards Guru Kalamandalam Kshemavathy has received inluding the prestigious Kalamandalam Award for Mohiniyattam in 1993, Kendriya Sangeetha Nataka Aademy Award in 1999 and Nritya Natya Puraskar in 2008 besides many other accolades.
Guru Kalamandalam Kshemavathy was born in 1948 in an illustrious family replete with art, theatre and music. Her childhood was replete with learning various dance forms and music. Guru Kalamandalam Kshemavathy learned small pieces such as Kaaliya Mardhanam from local teachers including Kochukuttan Asan and Hansa. Eventually, Kshemavathy joined the Kerala Kalamandalam in Cheuruthuruthy, Trishoor at the age of eleven and during the interview, she performed Kaaliya Mardhanam in front of none other than the great poet of Malayalam, Vallathol Narayana Menon, who was the patron of this great institution and impressed him with her dance performance.
After joining the Kalamandalam, Kshemavathy worked hard and there was no looking back, mastering three dance forms of Mohiniyattam, Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi. She learned Kathakali under the tutelage of Kalamandalam Balasubranamiam. What is more, both of them had performed Damayanthi Hamsam getting rave reviews. She had also performed performed Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam and Kuchipudi at various stages in Chennai. For the Vallathol Centenary Celebrations held in Delhi, Guru Kalamandalam Kshemavathy performed her solo Mohiniyattam dance.
Also in the early ’70s she performed at Ninth Congress Convention, a national event held at the grounds of Maharaja’s College in Kochi. Also, the then President of the Kerala Sahitya Academy, the accomplished Malayalam writer, Ponkunnam Varkey give Guru Kalamandalam Kshemavathy an opportunity to perform Mohiniyattam and that saw the birth of Kshemavathy the Mohiniyattam dancer. Ever since, she had never looked back.
Guru Kalamandalam Kshemavathy is married to emminent Malayalam movie maker, VK Pavithran. The couple have to daughters, Lakshmi Pavithran and Eva Pavithran. The latter is acctive in the fashion industry and she has also acted in few Malayalam movies. The Indian.News congratulates Guru Kalamandalam Kshemavathy on her contribution to the art form of Mohiniyattam.