Kalamandalam Gopi, the ever-green hero of Kathakali



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K. K. Gopalakrishnan, a passionate writer-photographer on Kerala(India) performing arts traditions and culture, started writing for a host of Indian periodicals such as The Indian Express (English) and The Mathrubhumi Weekly (Malayalam) at a very young age. For the past three decades, he contributes mostly for The Hindu newspaper's (English) supplements - Sunday Magazine, Literary Review, various editions of the Friday Review - and Sruti Magazine (Chennai). 

Popularly known as both KK and KKG in the Indian art scenario, he is a significant source of information/ reference for artists, scholars, media and research students including from abroad countries. 

Of late, his focus is on writing illustrated academic/reference book on forms that he passionately loves.    

His critically acclaimed 'Kathakali Dance-Theatre – A Visual Narrative of Sacred Indian Mime' (2016; Niyogi Books, Delhi, ISBN:978-93-85285-01-1) was respectively third and fourth in the categories of books on dance and theatre in Amazon sales. His illustrated academic book on Theyyam, the folk ritual tradition of cult worship in Northern Kerala that his family also has been patronizing for over three centuries, will be out soon from Niyogi Books.

As Tagore National Research Scholar (TNFCR) of Government of India, Ministry of Culture, currently he is working on his third title - on Kutiyattam, intending to straighten the modern history of the art (post-1965) distorted by a few vested interests exploiting the 'illiteracy' of the foremost stake-holders/gurus.  (Kutiyattam is the ancient Sanskrit theatre tradition of pan India with an antiquity of several centuries. UNESCO recognized it as a "masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity" in 2001.)

He was the Honorary Associate Editor of Nartanam (January 2017 - December 2018; and June 2011 - March 2015), India's foremost dance journal in English having a global readership and published as quarterly from  Hyderabad since 2001.                                             

An officer of State Bank of India who chose to resign to focus on art studies, from December 2010 to December 2016 he served as the Director of the Centre for Kutiyattam of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Delhi, the national academy of music, dance and drama under the Govt of India, Ministry of Culture.  He is a recipient of the Senior Fellowship of the Ministry of Culture, Delhi for a study on Nangiarkooth.

He had served as the Governing Body member of the South Zone Cultural Centre of the Ministry of Culture for the support of South Indian cultural traditions and a member of the General Councils of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi and Kerala Folklore Akademi (State Academies for arts and culture).



     


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k.k. GOPALAKRISHNAN 

Tagore National Research Scholar - TNFCR  (Ministry of  Culture, Delhi)

                                        Cultural Historian & Author