CK Balagopalan

Balagopal, a natural actor, inheriting his acting talent from his comic actor father `Rasika Siromani’ Koman Nair, who was also known as the “Malabar Charlie Chaplin”. Balagopal moved to Kalakshetra at a very young age. He could handle any character with aplomb and had a special knack of attracting audience attention. Balagopal has the exemplary histrionic talent of making himself ten times taller than his original size. While on stage none can say he is a short man; he can fill the space with his acting presence.

His memorable roles were those of Krishna in Geeta Govindam with Shanta as Radha, and Bharata in Paduka Pattabhishekam, when the audience was moved to tears. As the vidooshaka in Abhignana Sakuntalam, he madeeveryone laugh. His ‘kapata sanyasi’ role as Ravana indisguise in the ‘Seetaharanam’ episode in Sabarimoksham isyet another striking role. But above all he has immortalised

the role of Hanuman in the Ramayana series of Kalakshetra. None can equal him in that role. In fact when he plays that role he follow austerities and meditates the whole day on Anjaneya, and does special pooja in the temple. That is the sort of dedication, devotion and discipline he brings to his natya, a total involvement in his artistic life. Balagopal’s greatness is that he can handle any role, big or small, with aplomb.

He trained in Kathakali under T.K. Chandu Panicker and he used to do stree vesham and excelled in it with sensitive feminine expressions and movements. He could transform himself into a glamorous lady in the role.

He retired from Kalakshetra in the year 2000. A reputed teacher, Balagopal has trained a number of students at Kalakshetra and has assisted Rukmini Devi in many productions.

He was the recipient of the Government of India Scholarship  for three years in kathakali. And the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for Bharatanatyam in the year 2003.