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Farewell Beppe Chierichetti
- Ashish Mohan Khokar

April 9, 2020

In these times when we are so troubled anyway, the loss of dear Beppe is a final blow to many of us. He was the spine and spirit of TTB (Teatro Tascabile di Bergamo). He gave his lifetime to art, theatre and India.

An accomplished actor, he took to Kathakali like a fish to water. He came to India last 4 decades - that's 40 years - and his surname Chierichetti is almost synonymous with the village Cheruthurthy, Shoranur, Kerala, where he came almost every year to enhance his skills in the most complex of art forms he had chosen - Kathakali. Even Indians can't master it as well and dedicatedly as Beppe did. He was an inspiration for his group, his audiences and his fans. He was a happy-go-lucky Leo, who lived like King sized. His smile was his best adornment.

In his passing on 7th April 2020 aged 71 in Bergamo, Italy, India has lost its finest artiste and ambassador of culture. In current times of Corona, when Italy has suffered thousands of deaths and turmoil, his passing to cancer adds to overall gloom and doom. But we must remember him happily, for when he got on stage the audiences cheered at the depth of his art and artistry.

Last year attenDance honoured him with Lifetime Achievement Award and he happily and humbly accepted it gracefully. TTB has hosted Madhu Nataraj and Praveen Kumar as attenDance awardees and they have fond memories of Beppe who was always hospitable and friendly, despite his seniority. Beppe smiles at us from the skies above.

Ashish Mohan Khokar is a reputed author, arts administrator, historian, critic with many published books and edits India's only yearbook attenDance. He is now helping the IGNCA, Delhi, set up the Mohan Khokar Dance Archives-cum-Museum.

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