Margi Vijayakumar

Margi Vijayakumar

Shri Margi Vijayakumar is a Kathakali performer par excellence, whose renditions of mythological characters are renowned globally. His portrayals of feminine roles, in particular, have earned him a special place in the hearts of art lovers. Kathakali's journey intertwines with Kerala's, and his performances have aided the dance form's revival among a new generation. His passion and his dedication to the craft have set the benchmark for all future artisans.

He joined the prestigious Margi Kathakali School in Thiruvanathapuram at age 15, sparking off a ten year period of learning that would forge a lifelong bond. He spent the first seven years of this journey under the tutelage of cultural behemoths like Mankulam Vishnu Nambudiri, Inchakkattu Ramachandran Pillai, and Thonnakkal Peethambaran. After his basic training, he was taken under the wing of Padmashree Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair. It is here that he received personalized training on the nuances of enacting female characters in Kathakali.

His depiction of compelling female characters is what sets him apart. These include jaw-dropping representations of Shurpanakha, Hidimbi, Simhika, Nakrathundi, and Poothana. His portrayal of Damayanti, Panchali, Mohini, and Kunti has asserted his dominance in Kerala's cultural space. The ability to draw out the vigor, power, and fragility of each of these celestial beings is his trademark. Acting opposite pioneers such as Padmashree Krishnan Nair and Padmabhushan Ramankutty Nair, his portrayal of the heroine has won him much acclaim. His work ethic has also been much appreciated, with over 150 stage shows annually, in both India and abroad.

After graduating in 1985, he became the principal of Margi Kathakali School 29 years later. While becoming a teacher amidst his apprenticeship, he would perform in pan-India venues regularly. Today, he is a regular fixture in Cultural Committees set up by the Central Government. His work has been witnessed by crowds across North America, Europe, and Asia. He performs workshops for SPIC MACAY and gives lectures at a wide range of educational institutions. The University of Texas conferred on him the title of 'Nitya Yauvana Mohini.'