Kalamandalam Haridas

Kalamandalam Haridas

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Kalamandalam Haridas

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Kalamandalam Haridas, more popularly known as Venmani Haridas, (1946–2005) was a renowned Kathakali musician noted for his evocative rendition of songs for the classical dance-drama from Kerala in south India.

Born on 15 September 1946 in Venmani Mana, a Namboodiri mansion of literary repute in Vellarappilly village east of Aluva off Kochi, Haridas developed interest in Kathakali by watching performances of the classical dance-drama in the neighbouring Akavoor Mana. He was taught the basics in music by Mundakkal Sankara Varrier.

In 1960, he joined the famous Kerala Kalamandalam and learned music under leading Kathakali musicians like Kalamandalam Neelakantan Nambisan, Sivaraman Nair and Kalamandalam Gangadharan.In 1968, he joined Darpana, a noted performing arts institute set up the famous danseuse Mrinalini Sarabhai in Ahmedabad, as a music teacher. This stint beyond the Vindhyas exposed him to various styles of north Indian renditions, including classical Hindustani music, but made him a rather obscure Kathakali musician back in Kerala.

A decade later, in 1978, Haridas fulfilled his ambition to get back to his home state for good when he was offered the post of music teacher at Margi in Thiruvanathapuram, where subsequently worked...
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