Kalamandalam Vimala Menon
7 January 1943
|Alma mater||Kerala Kalamandalam, Cheruthuruthy (Diploma In Mohiniyattam & Bharathanatyam )|
|Occupation||Director and Principal of Kerala Natya Academy, Classical Dance Instructor & Author|
|Years active||1964 – present|
|Spouse(s)||K.P. Vishwanathan Menon (1966 - Present)|
|Children||Vinod Kumar (Son) & Vindhuja Menon (Daughter)|
|Parent(s)||Krishnan Nair (Father), Vishalakshi Amma (Mother)|
|Awards||Guinness Book of Records (2006)|
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2006)
Kerala Kalamandalam Award (2005)
Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award (1991)
Viswabharathy Award (1980)
All Kerala Social Service Association Award (1964)
Vimala Menon (Malayalam: വിമല മേനോൻ), known popularly as Kalamandalam Vimala Menon is an Indian dance teacher and Mohiniyattam exponent from Kerala. She is the founder and Director of Kerala Natya Academy in Thiruvananthapuram.
Vimala has taught about 5000 students and still continues her successful teaching career of 50 years. Vimala has brought forward many innovative ideas about the forms and styles of Mohiniyattam. Vimala has her name in Guinness Book of Records for training and putting on a show of Mohiniyattam consisting of 1200 dancers. Vimala is also a recipient of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award in 1991 and the Kendra Sangeeta Nataka Akademi Award in 2006 for her contribution to Indian classical dance.
Early life and education
Vimala was born into an affluent family in a village in Irinjalakuda, Thrissur district. She is the second of seven children born to S. K. Krishnan Nair, a civil engineer, and Vishalakshy Amma. Vimala learned her initial dance lessons from Thripunithura Vijaya Bhanu. She also had her training in Carnatic music under M. R. Madhusudanan Nair. After completing her school education, she joined Kerala Kalamandalam for a four-year diploma course in dance in 1960. At Kalamandalam, she had training in Mohiniyattam under the tutelage of Pazhayannoor Chinnammu Amma and Kalamandalam Satyabhama. She also studied Bharata Natyam under Thanjavoor Bhaskara Rao.
While working as a dance teacher in the Jawahar School at Neyveli Lignite Corporation, she married Viswanatha Menon. After the marriage in 1966, she accompanied her husband to live in Bhutan where he was an officer with Bhutan government. She has a son, Vinod and a daughter Vinduja Menon who acted in several Malayalam films, including Pavithram and Njan Gandharvan.
During her stay in Bhutan, Vimala taught dance in the Bhutan Government School and performed South Indian Classical dance in many places.
Awards and honors
During her long career, Vimala Menon won several awards and honors, including the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award in 1991 and the Kendra Sangeeta Nataka Akademi Award in 2006. She received the All Kerala Social Service Association Award for Bharata Natyam in 972. She won the Senior Fellowship Award for her research work in "Ramanattom in Mohiniyattom" by the Government of India's Cultural Department in 2004. Vimala also received the Kerala Kalamandalam Award for Dance from Kerala Kalamandalam for her contribution to South Indian Classical Dances.
- "Sangeet Natak Akademi awards". The Hindu. 2 February 2007. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- "'My students are my wealth'". The Hindu. 24 June 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- "Ammathanal". Mathrubhumi (in Malayalam). 1 December 2011.
- "Kerala Kalamandalam awards announced". The Hindu. 20 October 2005. Retrieved 12 February 2012.