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.
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.
Many prominent artists and politicians express their condolences on social media:
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan offered his condolence over the demise of the Ottanthullal maestro Kalamandalam Geethanandan. pic.twitter.com/0jbjoXijP0
— CMO Kerala (@CMOKerala) January 29, 2018
Saddened, shocked at the untimely demise of Ottanthullal artist Kalamandalam Geethanandan.He died while performing at Avittathoor Maha Vishnu Temple, Thrissur.
Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family. Pranaams. pic.twitter.com/okVbd3tMkx
— KummanamRajasekharan (@Kummanam) January 29, 2018
— Anna MM Vetticad (@annavetticad) January 29, 2018
The legendary Ottanthullal artiste Shri Kalamandalam Geethanandan passes away on stage, right in the middle of his performance in Avitatthur temple in Kerala! What a dream death for any performing artiste! Prayers and condolences! Atma Shanti! pic.twitter.com/PCLnP760Xf
— मङ्गलम् (@veejaysai) January 28, 2018