Guru Chandrasekharan

Guru Chandrasekharan

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Category: Art

Guru Chandrasekharan Profile

  • Name:
  • Guru Chandrasekharan
  • Died:
  • August 5, 1998
  • Father:
  • N.k. Nair
  • Spouse:
  • Mohanavalli Amma

Guru Chandrasekharan Biography

Guru Chandrasekharan was an Indian classical dancer, choreographer and Kathakali guru from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. His father N. K. Nair was a famous artist and a notable oil painter. From 1947 to 1950, he taught at Shantiniketan, focusing on Kathakali. He studied Kathakali under the guidance of Guru Gopinath. He composed and performed several ballets such as Sri Guruvayurappan, Kumara Sambhavam, Sri Ayyappan, Hrishya Sringan, and Sri Hanuman.


His contributions also include certain compositions like akunthalam, Kumaran Asan's Chandala Bhikshuki, Vallathol’s Magdalena Mariyam, Voice of Travancore, Manishada, Shiva Thandavam, Ekalavyan, Chilappadikaram, Pigmalin, Ganesha Nritham, Ardhanareeswaram, Surya Nritham, Geethopadesam, Changampuzha’s Ramanan, Kalidasa's Kumara Sambhavam, S Guruvum Sishyanum, Vayalar's Ayisha, Markandeyan, Mohini, Rugmangada, Savithri, Dakshayagom and Prapidiyan Pathalathil. He received Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy in the year 1976 and has authored one book on Bharathanatyam titled Natiya Nirishanam.


Chandrasekharan was born in the year 1916 in Thiruvananthapuram. He started learning Kathakali while studying at college without informing parents. He learnt under the guidance of Guru Gopinath at 'Sri. Chithrodaya Nartha Kalalayam'. He later practised Kathakali under Nedumudi Narayana Kurup. Later he organized his own troupe and performed in almost all major cities of India. Through his stage shows, he chose current social themes to create dance shows. In 1943 he got invitation from British government to perform in Egypt and Italy for entertaining soldiers of the British Indian Army of World War second.


He has served as a member of the Kerala University Senate, member of the Board of Directors of Kerala Kalamandalam, the member of the Advisory Committee for the Malayalam Encyclopedia and many other senior positions. He was married to Mohanavalli Amma, daughter of V.K Gopala Panicker, Asst. Superintendent of Police in the former Travancore State. He didn’t encourage his children to come to this field due to hardships he endured during his artistic career.  

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Updated: January 27, 2014


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