Life Membership Fee : Rs. 500
Present Strength : 1000 (May 2011)
Registered under the Charitable Societies Act, Edappally Kathakali Aswadaka Sadas started functioning in December2002 with late P.K.Godavarma as the patron. During the short span of time it has become an acknowledged centre for splendid kathakali performances. The presence of a large body of connoisseurs of the art and their fulsome support have helped the Sadas to grow and attain this enviable status. As Patron of Kathakali Aswadaka Sadas from its inception the contribution of late Kalamandalam Kesavan in this all-round development cannot be forgotten. Today the Edappally Kathakali Aswadaka Sadas has the distinction of being a member of the prestigious Kerala Sangeet Natak Academy.
The current President of the Kathakali Aswadaka Sadas is Mr M. Jayasankar. The Secretary and the Treasurer are Mr V.J.S. Namboodiri and Mr R. Ranjit respectively.
The Kathakali Aswadaka Sadas makes effort to stage at least eight performances a year. The absence of a good stage to perform in foul weather had been a constraint so far, but construction of a new one solved that problem. Now there are two stages—one open-air and the other with a roof -- which allow a choice to suit any occasion.
Apart from the regular performances the Kathakali Aswadaka Sadas is venue for many special programmes as well. Thus in January every year a three-day festival is organized to commemorate the great champion of kathakali and patron of the art P.K.Godavarma. In fact the Kathakali Sadas remembers with gratitude his fullsome support and encouragement during its formative years. The Sadas also keeps nostalgic memories of other great exponents of kathakali like Kala. Hyderali and Neelakandhan Nambisan who are no more.
Kala. Sankaran Empraanthiri who, despite his severe disabilities had endeared himself to kathakali lovers all over Kerala with his haunting music, died recently. He was particularly close to lovers of kathakali in Edappalli. In order to keep his revered memory alive it is proposed to institute an award to be given every year on his death anniversary (on November 13) followed by a kathakali music recital programme. The award amount of Rs 5001/- is to be presented to a kathakali musician selected by a panel of judges. The amount for the endowment is to be gathered through voluntary donations from kathakali fans and generous public.
It is probably a sign of the high esteem in which the Edappalli Kathakali Aswadaka Sadas is held that when Kerala Kalamandalam thought of launching its ‘Noorarang Programme’ (one hundred performances) with a view to popularize this declining art form in different parts of the State its Vice-Chancellor Dr K.G. Poulose selected CSK as the first venue. Without doubt an over-flowing house attended the function and made it a resounding success.
The Kathakali Aswadaka Sadas has been well aware of the need to nurture and encourage interested youngsters in kathakali music. Happily an initiative in this regard was taken by the most qualified in this sphere as also the Patron of the Kathakali Aswadaka Sadas, Kalamandalam Kesavan. He started a class for the percussion instrument chenda, but unfortunately he passed away before long. Alternative arrangement has been made to continue the project close to his heart. A class in kathakali vocal music started by Kalamandalam Gopalakrishnan is making steady progress.
Plans for conducting a 3 day festival in April 2010 to commemorate the contributions of Kalamandalam Kesavan are in the discussion stage
Dates to remember :-
1. P.K.Godavarma Anusmarana kathakali festival ( 3 days ) starting on January 23
2. Kalamandalam. Sankaran Embranthiri anusmarana kathakali sangeeta kacheri -- Nov 13
3. Kalamandalam Kesavan Anusmaranam—April 25