Kalamandalam Biju started learning Kathakali at the age of 8 and got his degree in Kathakali “Vesham” from Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University. He has been involved in Kathakali performances all over India with Kalamandalam Kathakali Troupe and other troupes.
Currently he is working as a Kathakali instructor and a performing artist at Bhaskar’s Arts Academy, Singapore. He has choreographed Thadaka Vadham in Tamil, Cherita Singapura in Malay, Lady Spiders in Mandarin and the Shakespearean story King Lear in Malayalam. He has written and published a new Kathakali story, Satyavathiparinayam (2008) under the pen-name Vanamali. Based on Mahabharatham the story been performed on different stages since then. He has received Vellodi Medal (1984), Vallathol scholarship (1989) from Kalamandalam and Natyakala Bhushana award from BAA (2015).
With Bhaskar’s Kathakali Troupe, he has performed all over Singapore and abroad including Mexico, Indonesia and Malaysia. He also represented the Academy in various performances in India including Ramleela Festival in Madyapradesh (2008), Harmony through Kathakali, Teerthapada Mandapam, Kerala (2007) and Chennai Sangamam (2008).
Our Kathakali Troupe
The Bhaskar’s Arts Academy Kathakali Troupe was formed in 2002, consisting of principal dancers trained in India. It is now the only group of its kind outside India, promoting this unique art form in Singapore and beyond. Originating from Kerala, South India, Kathakali is known for its colourful makeup, intricate eye movements and hand gestures.
The troupe was set up under the artistic direction of Mr KP Bhaskar, whose vision was to produce innovative, cross-cultural productions to expand the repertoire of Kathakali and appeal to new audiences in a cosmopolitan age. Its first production was hence a Tamil performance, Thadaka Vadham (2002).
Continuing in this vein, the troupe also staged Cherita Singapura (2003) and Lady Spiders (2006) in Malay and Mandarin lyrics respectively. A Kathakali twist was also given to the Shakespearean tragedy King Lear (2009). Currently, the troupe continues to produce traditional pieces in Malayalam as well as explorative works both locally and internationally.