About Kalamandalam Shijukumar

A little bit Kalamandalam Shijukumar

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Kalamandalam Shijukumar

One of the renowned Kathakali performers from Southern India, Kalamandalam Shijukumar was born on 10th April 1977, at Thachonam, a village in Kollam Dist. When he was a kid, he was fascinated by the Katakali performances conducted at the Thachonam Devi temple, near to his home. Unlike his childhood friends, he created some color combinations by himself and tried to perform as the real Kathakali Perfomers. When his parents realized his passion for the classical Art form, he was led to Kalamandalam in 1991. At Kalamandalam, he got trained under Kalamandalam Rajasekharan, Kalamandalam Prasanna Kumar and Kalamandalam Gopakumar. In 1993 he received The Vellodi Medal, a medal given to the best student, from Kalamandalam.

As a student in Kalamandalam he showed his talents in creative writing and won the Best poet award (Vallathol Puraskaram) from Kalamandalam in 1995. Being blessed with a creative, energetic mind, he wrote, directed and performed his first Kathakali Story (Aatakadha) named Ekalavya Charitham in 1996.The performance of the story at Kalamandalam Kuthambalam was inaugurated by the evergreen Malayalam poet Padmasree ONV Kurupu.

After his Diploma in Kathakali Vesham from Kalamandalam in 1997 he gently started his career as a Kathakali artist and made a mark of his own by performing all over India. Simultaneously, he gave his contributions to various journals by lettering articles on art and culture. As a film Lover, he with his friends founded a film society called Gramam in 1999 with an intention of extending the life and soul of visual Arts among the art lovers. Further to this he wrote a script for a koodiyattam documentary film for Vyloppilli Samsskrithi Bhavan.

Gradually he got recognition from the Asian and European countries like Taiwan, Austria, Germany, Poland, China, Italy, France etc and since 2004 he has been visiting these countries with his own group for Kathakali performance and demonstration.

He penned and directed Suvarna Bahukam, a story in Kathakali version based on Shakespeare's Othello, in 2005. Sunanda Gunapalam is a love story written and directed by him modeled on the Chinese love story Butterfly Lovers in 2007.These two stories, especially the Sunanda Gunapalam received great applause from the Asian countries like China and Taiwan. He with his group performed Madam Butterfly, a musical drama in Taiwan in 2014.

Gurugopinath trust, Kottayam and Bharath Kala Kendra Trivandrum honored him by bestowing the awards Natanapraveena and Yuvakalakar respectively.