Lavanya Ranjeet

 












She was initiated into Kathakali at the age of seven by Guru Shri Mankulam Vishnu Nambudiri, Margi, Thiruvananthapuram.
She learnt Mohiniattam under Smt Mallika Vasudevan.
She learnt Carnatic Music under Gurus Palai C K Ramachandran, Poonjar Bhavani Thampuratty and Ranjini Varma
She was a Member of Kerala University Choir Group, Trivandrum since 1987, with Late Shri M B Sreenivasan as Music Director.
She has been fortunate for having attained intensive training in Kathakali over the years under Gurus:

Padmashri Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair
Shri FACT Padmanabhan
Shri RLV Rajasekharan
Shri Margi Vijayan
Shri Inchakkad Ramachandran
Shri Sadanam Balakrishnan


‘NAVARASA’
(Sringara, Hasya, Karuna, Roudra , Veera, Bhayanaka,Bheebhatsa, Athbutha and Santha)

            Although Kathakali was traditionally the preserve of men, the first all-women's troupe namely, Tripunithura Kathakali Kendram -Ladies Troupe was set up in 1975 amidst severe criticism and odds. She was fortunate to be associated with the troupe since its early days, ever since Arangettam at the age of nine in 1978. She has been able to travel extensively and has performed at almost all the major Kathakali Clubs, Fine art Societies and Temples of Kerala. She was also inducted into the panel of performers for Dooradarshan two decades back.

A couple of her recent Kathakali performances outside Kerala are:

HCL Concert Series, at India Habitat Center, Delhi (Nalacharitam)
International Center for Kathakali, Delhi (Ayyappacharitam and Keechaka vadham)

As a member of the ladies' troupe, she had the freedom to explore a vide variety of veshams both male and female. Some of the kathas enacted by her over the years are:

Sampoorna ramayanam Subhadra haranam
Putana moksham Rugmangada charitam
Ayyappa charitam Krimeera vadham
Rugmini swayamvaram Kalyanasaugandhikam
Kiratam Duryodhanavadham
Lavanasura vadham Dakshayagam
Santanagopalam Keechakavadham
Kuchelavrittam Geetopadesam
Nalacharitam Karnasapatham



By the age of sixteen she had done more than 100 stage performances in Kathakali.
She has been fortunate in having:

Performed Mohiniattam for his Excellency Gyani Zail Singh, President of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan at the age of 16, in 1986.
Honoured by the then Prime Minister Late Shri Rajiv Gandhi and been awarded the gold medal for solo dance(mohiniattam) in 1986 and was a guest at the prestigious Prime Minister's Breakfast.
Received K K Raja Memorial Prize in Kathakali twice.
Received M K K Nair Memorial Prize in Kathakali.
Received various prizes in Kathakali, Music etc from Kalabhavan, Ernakulam and Kerala University Youth Festivals and others.
She is life member and senior student of the International Center for Kathakali, Delhi as disciple of Guru Shri Sadanam Balakrishnan.

Both her daughters Radhika(16 years) and Neelima(13 years) are showing keen interest in kathakali and music. Radhika was a student of the International Center for Kathakali at Delhi under Shri Sadanam Balakrishnan. Radhika has done her Arangettam at the very tender age of six in Kathakali at the ICK,Delhi in November 2002 and has now performed on quite a few stages. Both Radhika and Neelima are under the tutelage of Kalamandalam Sajan since 2004.

Radhika as Rukmini with Guru Kalamandalam Balasubramanian (Retd. Principal, Kalamandalam) as Krishna in ‘Kuchelavruttham’ Kathakali (2011) Radhika & Neelima as Sreerama & Lakshmana along with Kalamandalam Shanmughadas as Sabari in Radha Madhavan’s ‘Sabaricharitham’ Kathakali (2010).