Saturday, May 28, 2022

Arts and Architecture

Ritual Arts

Brahmasree Puthumana Govindan Namboothiri:The Living Legend With 30 Yrs Of Excellence In Thitampu Nritham 

Brahmasree Puthumana Govindan Namboothiri (48), is a legend in the field of Thitampu Nritham. His debut performance was at Sree Athiyampoor Subrahmanya Swamy Temple, Kanhangad during the Shashthi Uthsavam-1979. He hails from Chemmattam Vayal, kanhangad in Kasaragod district. He has performed at almost all the temples(around 200) in north Kerala for the past 25yrs .. He was inspired by Late Brahmasree Thekkillam Keshavan Embranthiri (First Vethiramana Award Winner). He is also famous at the National level throughout India. Video clippings of his performance is even included in the topics of interest of the dance researchers in the foreign universities. Thitampu Nritham exponent Sri Govindan Namboothiri, is now also well
known for developing this as a classical dance form. He was recently honoured by many organizations for having brought out the possibilities of this art form, making free from the rituals at temples. His performance on the stage was appreciated by thousands of dance lovers including fans from other religions. He was given the titles ‘Janakeeya Narthakan’ and ‘Thitampu Nritha Chakravarthy’ for the outstanding and valuable contributions in this field. Last year, he has done a number of State level programmes like Uthsav – 2007, Lavanyam – 2007. 

He follows entirely Thekkan Saili and has excelled in this area. He has received many honours during the past years from well known temples like Sree (Chirakka Kavu,Thalassery,Kuttamath Bhagavathi Temple, Cheruvathur, Pallikkunnu Mahavishnutemple, Kanathur, Edakkad Vishnu Temple, Kannur) etc. Initially he has performed in the telecast on Doordarshan On "Kshethrakalakal" (in section Thitampu Nritham) while he was performing at Sree Kollya Mookambika Temple, Ullal. After that he performed in many times for various local channels at Kasaragod like Indiavision, city channels and his Nritham appears during the utsava season. His performance at Veerabhadra Temple,Cheruvathur (The second famous Arattuthsavam of north Kerala Vayalil Arattu) was captured by the Asianet and was telecasted. His performance at Cherupuzha Ayyappa temple was considered the best performance in the year 2005 by a panel of old and experienced experts. His performance at Sree Vishnumangalam temple, Kanhangad will be telecasted in the Surya channel under the programme "KELI". He will be performing for the KAIRALI channel also soon. The legendary artist was honoured by Doordarshan, Trivandrum in a programme ‘Kasavutheeram’ in 2007. He is known to majority of celebrities in other fields as ‘Thitampu Nritha Prathibha’. He was given the honour recently by Kollya Mutt Seva sangham, Mangalore for the expertise shown in Thitampu Nritham. 

His style of performing Thitampu Nritham is unique and makes attractive to the viewers even without the knowledge of this divine art. It is always found that there will be a large crowd to watch this performance from areas far away from temples. He keeps all the conventional styles as such with varities which comes under the new trend. He always says "I perform Thitampu Nritham with bhakthi which is the secret of my success" and he does not believe in the degrading tendencies by the new artists to perform mere dance instead of Nritham due to lack of effort. He remains performing different shailis (styles) for continuous 30 minutes each for 4 Thalavattams (For continuous 2 hrs) and says the "ATANTHA" is his favourite. He is becoming popular nowadays as he always sticks only to this art and never tries to copy other dances and art forms. Govindan Namboodiri has performed in more than a hundred temples even at the age of 25 and won appreciation and numerous awards from his admirers. Every year he performs at new temples in North Kerala and Karnataka. He has delighted crowds in various parts of Karnataka including Mangalore and Bangalore apart from the fans in Trivandrum, Kochi, Thrissur and Calicut. It is a measure of his fame that people even from far way places crowd to the temples where he is a performer. Every year Govindan Namboothiri gets invitations from new temples. Such is his popularity. It is a reflection on his devotion to this divine art that he is giving training to many aspiring youngsters. He was the only artist selected for a 1 hr special interview session by Indiavision in Thitampu section last year. 

He respects all Thitampu artists whether they Follow Thekkan or Vatakkan saili and continues with its majestic performance from Vrishchikam to Medam. He comes to perform Thitampu Nritham under request which has fascinated thousands of viewers (art lovers) and devotees irrespective of weight of the Thitampu.It is a matter of special interest that there are many temples where he continues to perform since he was assigned since 1979!! He lives as pure Namboothiri with pooja and maintains old tradition of the community. The soft spoken expert of Thitampu Nritham is known by majority of marars in north kerala and respected by them. He remembers how he was introduced by Kadannappalli Sankaran Kutty Marar To Pallikkunnu Kanathoor temple for performance with Late Brahmasree thekkillam Kesavan Embranthiri. It is a reflection on his devotion to this divine art that he is giving training to many aspiring youngsters. Further, he is doing research on the origin, Drumming, development, scope andother peculiarities of this art and intends to bring out an authentic book. The purpose is to rejuvenate Thitambu Nritham which is facing eclipse. He is also trying to prepare 2 famous reference books on Thitampu Nritham which is in the process of publication. He is known as ‘GURUJI’ to the performers of other classical dance forms. A majority of his fans believes that the honors received by him so far is not sufficient to greet him for his excellence and the dedication he shows in this field.  

Courtesy: Members of committees of various temples in Malabar, coordinators of various dance festivals, dance researchers and other performing artists.