KOCHI: Renowned Kathakali singer Kalamandalam Sankaran Embranthiri died at a private hospital at Aluva, near here, on Tuesday. He was 64.
Embranthiri, along with Kalamandalam Hyderali and Venmani Haridas, had taken Kathakali music to new realms of aesthetics. Among them, the trio had redefined the role of singers in an art form dominated by actors. Even after Haridas and Hyderali departed in the last two years, Embranthiri continued to perform. Both his kidneys were transplanted in 1991 and his right leg was amputated. But he used to perform sitting, which gives an idea about the stature he enjoyed among Kathakali aficionados.
He was presented with many awards during his long illustrious career, including the Swati Puraskaram, the Sangeeta Ratnam instituted by the Kerala Kalamandalam, and first Unnai Warrier Award.
He complained of discomfort in the morning and was taken to C.A. Hospital, Aluva, at 7.30 a.m.
The body was kept at his residence at Aluva, where his contemporaries Kalamandalam Gopi and Kalamandalam Kesavan, Koodiyattom artist Margi Madhu, Aluva MLA A.M. Yousuf and Aluva municipal chairperson Smitha Gopi paid their last respects.
The last rites will be performed with full State honours at his residence at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.
He is survived by his wife Savithri Antharjanam and daughters Sindhu Krishnan and Reshmi Hari.
The department of music, Maharaja’s College, held a condolence meeting on Tuesday.
College Principal Sheela Paul and head of the department of music Jayalakshmi were among those who spoke.
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