Last performance of Ottanthulal artist Geethanandan

Acclaimed *Ottanthulal artist Kalamandalam Geethanandan died on Sunday around 8 pm while performing at Avittathur Mahavishnu Temple at Irinjalakuda in Thrissur, Kerala. The 58-year-old, who had performed on more than 5,000 stages in India and abroad, collapsed on the stage and died during a stage performance.

He was given first aid and taken to a hospital, but could not be saved. Geethanandan had been a faculty member at the Kalamandalam’s Ottanthulal department for more than 25 years. Geethanandan has also acted in many movies including Kamaladalam, Manasinakkare, Thoovalkottaram and Irattakuttikalude Achan.Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup and outdoor

He won Veerasringala and Thullal Kalanidhi award and was the first artist to present Thullalpada kacheri (on the same lines of Kathakali pada kacheri), a rendition of thullal in a musical format. Geethanandan was also the first artist to perform thullal in Paris. He has also performed at 10 venues in France in 1984.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed his heartfelt condolence over the sudden demise of Geethanandan. “Geethanandan had made good contributions to make ottanthullal popular. He had groomed hundreds of artists by teaching at Kalamandalam for the past 33 years. He had also shown his ability as an actor in films,” the CM said.

*Ottanthullal or thullal is kind of a satirical solo dance usually performed in temple premises, an was introduced in the 18th century by Kunchan Nambiar.

Watch the last performance of Kalamandalam Geethanandan here