National Award for Pavakathakali artistes
- Kapila Venu

January 22, 2011

KV Ramakrishnan and KC Ramakrishnan, the Pavakathakali artistes at Natanakairali, Irinjalakuda have been jointly selected for this year's Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for their contributions to the art form of Pavakathakali - the traditional glove puppet theatre of Kerala. The award comprises of Rs. 1 lakh, a citation and angavasthra.

KV Ramakrishnan and KC Ramakrishnan are the sons of the late Pavakathakali artistes, Velayudhan Pandaram and Chamu Pandaram, of Paruthippully village in Palakkad district. They used to perform Pavakathakali from house to house. It was through the resuscitation of this indigenous folk art form that was undertaken at Natanakairali from 1982 that the art form got a new lease of life. Both these artistes had participated as master puppeteers in presenting the Pavakathakali plays including, 'Kalyanasaugandhikam,' 'Duryodhanavadham' and 'Dakshayagam,' directed by G Venu at Natanakairali. They have performed these Pavakathakali plays at many venues in India and abroad.

Pavakathakali is a form of glove puppetry presented by moving the puppets using fingers. It is known as the Kathakali for children. The Natana Kairali Pavakathakali troupe had presented Pavakathakali recently at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi and at Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.

Kapila Venu, daughter of Nirmala Panicker and G Venu, is a performer of Koodiyattam and Nangiarkoothu.