Monday, June 11, 2012


Chennithala Chellappan Pillai earned fame,reputation and love  from art lovers all over
the Globe by his impressive style of presentation of Kathakali dance  and dedication.He was active in the field
of Kathakali for a very long period and an expert of the 'Thekkan Chitta' (Southern style).
Chennithala Chellappan Pillai was the son of parents Parvathy Amma and Krishna Panicker.
His grandfather Chennithla Kochupilla Panicker was a well known Kathakali artiste.
He started to learn Kathakali from his grandfather at the  age of 13.His 'arangettam' was held
at 'Chennithala Thriperunthura Mahadeva Temple' at the age of 15.
After  the death of his grandfather, he accepted Chengannur Raman Pillai Asan as his Guru
and undergone many years of training  with him.There were other students such as Oyur Kochu Govinda Pillai,Haripad Ramakrishna Pillai,Mankombu Sivasankara Pillai,Madavur Vasudevan Nair etc for learning Kathakali,  staying at the residence of ' Guru Chengannur Raman Pillai' at
that time.Chennithala Chellappan Pillai also joined with those students and undergone severe
Chennithala Chellappan Pillai as "Hamsam' with 'Nalan'
training for several years and became an expert in this art form without the backup of any other Institution.
Guru Chengannur Raman Pillai used to take his disciples also to places where his Kathakali was
Chennithala 2nd  row first 
playing and allowed his students to view and practice what was taught to them.They could
understand the differences if any and to rectify their own mistakes also.
Chennithala Chellappan Pillai was carved out to  manifest 'Pacha,Kathi and Kari' characters and
earned name and fame for his characters "Rugmangada,Kachan,Karnan,Arjunan,Bheeman,Krishnan and Sreeraman".
His 'Hamsam' of Nalacharitham-Day 1,  'Manthrikan'  of 'Nizhalkuthu' and 'Krishnan' earned critical acclaim and even Chennithala Chellappan Pillai considered those characters his favorites.Those
roles were his masterpieces which gained him much appreciation.
He was able to perform Kathakali in various centers in India and  abroad.He could travel with
FACT troupe to England,Germany,France and other European Countries.
He received 'Kendra (Central) Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award.
He was also recipient of Kerala Kalamandalam Award and Award from several Kathakali
clubs and Arts Organisations.

Chennithala Chellappan Pillai expired on 31 Oct. 1998

1 comment:

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