Thrissur, the cultural center of Kerala cradles this named center. The center is at the banks of Bharathapuzha (Nila) Cheruthuruthy.
This primary center for performing arts in Kerala follows Keralite traditions of classical dance forms, where ancient gurukula system is disciplined. It offers training for Kathakali, Koddiyattom, Mohiniyattom and Thullal. Regular, Long Term, Short Term and Intensive courses are available that makes an amateur into a professional.
The uneding passion of Vallathol Narayana Menon, (a poet and scholar) towards Kathakali and other performing arts, paved way to the establishment of Kerala Kalamandalam in 1930. Pattikkamthody Ravunni Menon, Guru Kunchukurup, Kalmandalm Krishnan Nair, Kalamandalam Neelakantan Nambeesan, Kalamandalam Krishnan Kutty Pothuwal, Painkulam Rama Chakyar, Thottasseri Chinnammu Ammu are the celebrated personalities who did their contributions to Kalamndalam.
The troupes of kalamandalam travel to different countries creating cultural wave throughout the world. They have participated in different International Dance Festivals. Kalamandalam also hosts a number of students and researchers from abroad.
At the primary stage, the staffs found it difficult to meet the expenditure for its maintenance; later it was converted to a grant-in-aid institution fully financed by the government. Presently a hierarchy of executive council and general council administers Kalamandalam (nominated by the State Government). The secretary supervises the day to day matters.
Presently functioning at Vallathol Nagar offers many facilities for the disciples.
o Kalaris – the training rooms
o Koothambalam- The Temple Theatre
o High School
o College Library
o Recording Studio
o Staff Quarters
o Employees Co-operative Society
o Administrative Block
o Art Gallery
Koothambalam (Temple Theatre)- The temple meant for the performance of Koothu and Koodiyattom is considered sacred. The center designed in the ancient architectural style,
is the place where the communication between the audience and the artists take place.
The institution offers various certificate and diploma courses. High School education with any selected performing arts, plus two and degree courses (B Art) approved the State Government are the added advantages. Institution provides crash courses in Koodiyattom, Mohiniyattom, Kathakali, vocal Music and other percussional instruments. The course continues upto three months to two years depending on the subjects.
Under International Cultural Exchange Programs, Indian Council for Cultural Relations Government of India selects the students.
The Museum at the residence of Vallathol displays the life of Vallathol through writings and images.
The Art Discipline
o Kathakali- famous dance drama play based on themes in Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Bhagavatha.
o Koodiyattom- this two thousand year old classical Sankrit theatre performance is a privilege to Chakyars and Nambyars. The main character acts the flash back events is the custom of the play.
o Nangiar Koothu- is a play in which the woman character enacts the Sree Krishna charitam (the story of Krishna) in 41 days.
o Mohiniyattom- the traditional dance form of Kerala flourished in the 17th century A.D. The dancer wears a golden jerry bordered cream color saree, waist garment, gold colored ornaments, jasmine flowers on the head and simple make up on the face.
o Thullal- is a single actor performance that attracts even an illiterate through its simple rhythmic music.
o Panchavadyam- combination of five orchestras- Thimila, Maddalam, Edakka, Kompu and Cymbal. Mostly performed during temple festivals.
Well experienced and talented faculties are available for the same. Kalamandalam RamanKutty Nair, Padmanabhan Nair, Gopi are the pride of the institution who maintain the international standard of the institution.
A test in Malayalam or Sanskrit is to be performed prior to the admission and on completing the course on the basis of competence of the student.
The individual can join in any one of the subjects. Classes will be taken for Functional Malayalam and Sanskrit, if requested.
Courses commence from June 1st to March 31st and vacation classes are available from April 1st to May 31st. No deadline is fixed for the receipt of applications. The institutions also offer crash courses.
Medium of Communication- English, Malayalam and verbal communications are encouraged. Communication of the teacher with the foreign students is mainly through ‘mudras'(hand gestures). English is mainly used when long discussions are needed.
Course structure: Basics and special coaching (2hrs) will be given at the beginning of all courses. Only after the completion of the basics of the course, one can go through the intermediate and advanced lessons. The training of the foreign students will be with the native students after they have gained enough experience that particular course.
Sponsorships are available for the foreign students intending to study in Kerala kalamandalam. Indian council of cultural relations, Government of India, New Delhi Indo Sasthri Canadian Institute, the NCERT, and the American Institute if Indian Studies are some of the Indian institutes there is possibility of sponsorship.
Universities and departments of culture and education all over the world assist the same.
The duly filled up application is to be send to the following address along with a crossed DD of US$- 10 or Rs.500 or a certified check. On the receipt of the application form along with this processing fee, the details of the courses will be informed. Students intended to join in the crash course should submit their application in a plain paper along with their bio-data.
Cheruthuruthy – 679 531
via Trissur, India
Phone number: 91 – 4884 – 262418, 262562
Fees: fees are payable in advance and in different installments.
Paying Guest- per head per month: 150$ – 200$
Foreign Students hostels:
o With cooking facilities – 70$
o Without cooking facilities- 50$
Documents to be submitted
1. Photocopy of the passport and the student visa
2. One passport size photo
3. Original No-AIDS certificate attested by the recognized authority of the particular country
4. A short description on the performing art training or exposure you have made (optional)
5. Recommendation letter from the teacher (optional)
To reach there:
Air: Cochin International Airport
Rail: Thrissur Railway Station
Road: Thrissur K.S.R.T.C bus station