Source: The Hindu

Kalamandalam Gopi (Vadakke Manalath Govindan Nair) is 75 and as eager as ever about his art. He performed at Kalakshetra in the city on Friday. During our conversation, the unassuming man, sans make up and exotic costumes, was candid about his journey in Kathakali, a traditional folk dance-drama form. Mr. Gopi, who learnt from the masters, developed his own style to attract laymen. At Kalakshetra this weekend, he will perform Nala Charitham, a story from the Mahabharatha. “I love and respect Nalan,” he says. Though he has taken the art form to a new level and played a variety of characters — like Keechaka, Bali and Duryodhana, — Shakuni, he says, is not for him. “I am a sathvik artiste who dons pachcha make-up. I don’t do anti-hero roles,” he says.

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Legendary Kathakali artiste Kalamandalam Gopi essays the role of Bahukan in Nala Charitham Munaam Divasam at the annual Kathakali festival, Bhava Bhavanam, at Kalakshetra on Friday. Photo: Special Arrangement