Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma was born on 27 October 1916 at Thirunavaya to Parents Govinda Menon and Sreedevi Amma.She studied up to eighth class in School and then studied Sanskit.She started learning dance from  the age of twenty two.Chomayil Madhaviamma and Appekkattu Krishna Panikker were the 'Gurus'.
Padmashri Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair
She got North Indian Dance training from Kalamandalam Madhavan,Priya Balagopal Singh trained her in
Manipuri Dance,Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair and Vazhenkada Kunchu Nair trained her in Kathakali at the
Kerala Kalamandalam Academy.Altogether she studied there for four years.
The 'Arangettam' performance was at the Kalamandalam at the age of 23.
From 1955 on wards she got fame as an expert dancer,Choreographer,Trainer etc.She was capable to write

lyrics of her own and to do music composition for it and to do the suitable choreography  resulting  as a fantastic
dance number.
She was the recipient of Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award,Kendra Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award, Honorary Membership of Kalamandalam, other certificates and Medals.
She was teacher at Guru Gopinath's Dance Institution,Mahilalaya at Ahmedabad,'Nrithya Grama'  of  Pratima
Bedi at Bangalore.
Later Kalyani Kutty Amma with her husband Padma Shri Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair started an Institute
at Thripunithura in the Name 'Kerala Kala Nilayam' where training for Kathakali,Mohiniyattam,Bharatanatyam,Kuchupidi,Oddissi,Carnatic Music,Violin,Veena etc are taught.
Kalamandalam Kalyanikutty Amma has done her own contributions for the betterment of Mohiniyattam dance.

She has published two  books  which  earned much appreciation as  reference manuals  of Mohiniyattam , and one book is in the name 'Mohiniyattam-History and Dance Structure'
.Kalyanikutty Amma had a small performance in the 1968 Malayalam cinema "Asuravithu' which was penned by M.T.Vasudevan Nair and directed by A.Vincent.
Her notable disciples include Mrinalini Sarabhai,Deepti Omcheri Bhalla,Thara Raj Kumar,Hisayo Adachi,
Nilufar etc.
She died on May 12, 1999 at Thrippunithura.
She is survived by five sons and two daughters.Her son 'Kalasala Babu is a Film and T.V. Actor.Daughters
Tara Rajkumar
Sreedevi and KalaVijayan  are well known dancers.One of her son Sreekumar is a Kathakali  Dancer.Her granddaughter Smita Rajan  has earned much fame as a Mohiniyattam Dancer.She is living in U.S.A. with her
family and running an Institution there to teach Indian Classical
dances to students in the name 'Nritya Kshetra'(Temple of Dance).
Smita Rajan who had intrinsic talents had her arangettam for
Mohiniyattam and Bharatanatyam at the age of 4 and 6 respectively.
Her mother Sreedevi, aunt Kala Vijayan and Grandmother also
taught her the lessons of Classical dances.Guru Kala Vijayan
and Guru Sreedevi are renowned trainers of Classical dances
and Kathakali  in Kerala at present at their Institute.

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