Thiruvananthapuram | Nangiarkoothu maestro of Kerala Margi Sathi is no more. She was undergoing treatment for cancer and her death came today evening at Regional Cancer Centre in Thiruvananthapuram. She was 50.
Sathi has been performing Kutiyattam and Nangiarkuthu since 1985. She has performed extensively in India and abroad.
She got the rare honour of performing at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on October 2001, before specially invited assembly of more than 500 guests from all over the world to mark the UNESCO’s proclamation of Kutiyattam as a World Heritage Art.
Margi Sathi has performed Nangiarkoothu, the solo part of Kutiyattam as well as the female roles in Kutiyattam in France, Spain, USA, Germany, Italy, Switzerland etc.
Margi Sathi born to Sanskrit scholar Subramanaian Embranthiri and Parvathi Antharjanam, in Cheruthuruthy (Vallathol Nagar Panchayath), Thrissur District of Kerala, Joined Kerala Kalamandalam, the premier academy of Kerala to learn Kutiyattam, at the age of eleven.
Completed her eight year stint in the Kerala Kalamandalam under Gurus Painkulam Rama Chakyar, Mani Madhava Chakyar and Ammannur Madhava Chakyar. After the diploma course she did post diploma with merit scholarship and another two year study with a scholarship from the Government of India.
In 1988, Sathi joined Margi, in Thiruvananthapuram. Under the initiatives of D. Appukkuttan Nair and Dr. K. Ayyappa Panikar, a programme of revitalization of Kutiyattam was started in 1990 with support from the Kendriya Sangeetha Natak Academy.
Sathi specialized in Nangiarkoothu under Guru Padmasree P.K. Nambiar. She is excellent in the enactment of all the female characters in Kutiyattam. Her range of female characters in Kutiyattam is phenomenal.
Kutiyattam, the 2000 year old classical Sanskrit theatre, is the stage rendering of well-known Sanskrit plays. It is recognized by UNESCO as a “masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.” To this ancient tradition belongs the 800 year, old Nangiarkoothu, a woman’s solo performance of narration of stories by means of hand gestures (Mudras) and facial expressions.
She did outstanding work in Nangiarkuthu by enacting entire Srikrishnacharitham and scripting and publishing a performance manual of Sriramacharitham (1999), Kannakicharitham (2002), Sitayanam (2008) adding other dimensions to Nagiarkoothu.
Recognitions for her include the Junior fellowship of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India (1997) for research project in Nangiarkoothu, The Kerala Sangeet Nataka Academy Award for Kutiyattam, for the year 2002, Kaladarpanam Award 2008, Natyarathna Puraskaram by Thunchan Smaraka Samithi, Thiruvananthapuram in 2008.
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