Celebrated stage artist Kalamandalam Geethanandan dies during performance in Kerala

He was one of the biggest names in Othanthullal, a dance drama form.

Celebrated Ottanthullal artist Kalamandalam Geethanandan died during a stage performance on Sunday in Thrissur, Kerala. While delivering a performance at Avittathur Mahadeva Temple in Irinjalakuda, the 58-year-old  collapsed on stage. He was given first aid and was later taken to the hospital. However, he couldn’t be saved.

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Geethanandan was one of the most well-known names in Othanthulla, a dance and poetic performance form of Kerala. He has performed in more than 5,000 stage shows since the age of nine. He was appointed as a teacher at Kerala Kalamandalam in 1983 and was the head of the department for the past 25 years. His contribution in promoting the art form remains unparalleled as he’s the first Othanthulla artist to perform abroad.

He also had a significant stint in Malayalam cinema and has acted in more than 30 films including Kamaladalam, Thooval Kottaram, Manasinakkare and Narendran Magan Jayakanthan Vaga.

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Many prominent artists and politicians express their condolences on social media: