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Guru Gopinath Nadana Gramam is located in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. In 1995, the center was established to impart training to youths in different art forms, including music, dance and instrumental music. The centre is under the control of the Department of Culture, Government of Kerala. It was instituted in the name of a great dancer by the name Guru Gopinath. He created a new dance form, Kerala Nadanam, through which he retold the day-to-day issues affecting mankind, apart from the stories from Hindu mythology. This made Kerala Nadanam one of the popular dance forms of Kerala.
Guru Gopinath was a great teacher and artist who had a sizeable fan and student following. He was responsible for bringing out the Kathakali dance form from the four walls of temples and palaces. Keeping in mind the ordinary people, the legendary artist made this dance form simple enough to help them understand and enjoy its beauty. For further popularizing the culture of Kerala, he devised a modern dance style called Kerala Natanam. This dance style combined various mudras and facial expressions of Kathakali with selected elements from Mohiniyattom and Koodiyattom. Hence this art form is called 'Kathakali simplified'. Without diluting its classical Kathakali background, this new dance form could appeal to the public that was devoid of art, music and dance. Using Kerala Nadanam, he could increase the reach of Kathakali far and wide.
At the time of his death in 1987, he was playing the role of King Dasaradha in his epic ballet 'Ramayana' on the stage. Prior to his death, he was running a small dance school in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. In 1997, the Kerala Government took over this piece of land, and it was christened as Guru Gopinath Nadana Gramam. Presently, this institution is under the patronage of the Department of Culture, Government of Kerala. After coming into being, this center of artistic excellence has assumed the role of a nodal agency that coordinates various cultural activities involving the youths of the state. As a result of strenuous efforts taken by the centre at popularizing Kerala Natanam, it has now become one of the sought-after dance items in youth festivals in the state.
Guru Gopinath Nadana Gramam is now situated in a big campus that spans 2 acres and 3 cents of land. The campus includes an amphitheater, a dance library and a museum dedicated to Guru Gopinath.
The Saraswathi temple conducts classes for all forms of dance. The mission of this center of excellence is to promote all forms of dance, with special emphasis on Kerala Nadanam. Looking forward, this institute wants to become a leading center for all forms of art. It offers a one-year certificate course and a three-year diploma course for the benefit of students who want to gain knowledge. Both the courses are offered at a meager monthly fee of Rs. 2000. In order to enroll in the courses, the students should have the genuine interest and talent in the dance forms for which the courses are being offered. Currently, there are 250 students studying about 50 dance forms at the cultural village.
The Guru Gopinath Nadana Gramam is a centre for cultural excellence, which is involved in promoting different dance forms of Kerala, with a special emphasis on Kerala Nadanam. The centre is set up in the name of great Kathakali dancer by the name Guru Gopinath who created and developed Kerala Nadanam. If you have genuine talent and interest in learning this dance form, please feel free to contact this Saraswathi temple for further details.