Early life of Keezhpatam Kumaran Nair
He was born in Vellinezhi village, Palakkad district in 1916. He began his training at the Kanthallur Kalari, under his sole guru, Pattikkantodi Ramunni Menon of the Kalluvazhi (midland) school. His classmates at Kerala Kalamandalam included the famous dancer Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair.
Career of Keezhpatam Kumaran Nair
Keezhpatam Kumaran Nair shifted to Chennai and gained recognitions as a master of choreography by teaching dance to Tamil star Ranjan. Throughout this span, Kumaran Nair also worked closely with the film icon M.G. Ramachandran. Soon he returned to Kalamandalam as a teacher, where situations forced him to work with the dance section consequently. Afterwards he worked with a number of Kathakali schools like PSV Natyasangham, Kottakkal; Kalasadanam, Chunangad and Varanakkottu Kaliyogam, Payyannur and his top periods were in Gandhi Seva Sadan at Peroor in Palakkad district and the International Centre for Kathakali in New Delhi.
His favourite role is of Hanuman, in Kalyana sangandhika i.e. 'Auspicious Fragrant Flower', Toranayuddham i.e. 'War over the Gateway', and Lavanasura-vadham or 'Slaying of Lavanasura', considered his masterpieces. Even in his early 20s, he used to portray Hanuman opposite Pattikkantodi's Bhima in Kalyana saugandhika. The next sixty years saw him as different characters of the epics and the Puranas, preferring sattvika or pure heroes, though at the age of 78 he enacted the demon king Ravana in Balivijayam or Victory over Bali. Males in the categories of katti or antagonists, minukku or sages or Brahmans and vellatati or divine animals suited him because of his good physique and height.
His Arjuna in "Santhanagopalam" with Guru Padmanabhan Nair as the Brahmin shattered by the death of his children and Bhima in "Kalyanasoughandhigam" with Guru Ramankutty Nair as Hanuman have won great compliments from experts. Another celebrated role of Keezhpatam Kumaran Nair is Roudra Bheema in "Duryodhanavadham".
Awards of Keezhpatam Kumaran Nair
Keezhpatam Kumaran Nair is a receiver of the Padma Shri award, the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi award, the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Fellowship and the Kalamandalam award, in the midst of others.
Death of Keezhpatam Kumaran Nair
Kumaran Nair was retired from stage three years prior to his death in 2007.