THRISSUR: Mohiniyattam exponent Kalamandalam Leelamma passed away at her Athani residence here early on Thursday. She was 65. Leelamma had been ailing for some time now. Hailing from Mattakkara in Kottayam, she had received the Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Academi Award(1990), Kendra Sangeeta Nataka Academi Award(2008),Kalamandalam Award(2007) and Kunjan Nambiar Award, besides several laurels.
An alumnus of Kalamandalam Deemed University, Leelamma later joined her alma mater as a faculty member. She went on to become the Head of the mohiniyattam Department.
She also served as the campus director of Kalamandalam University and as reader at the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit(SSUS) from 1995-1998.
A protege of Kalamandalam Sathyabhama and Kalamandalam Chandrika, Leelamma, who also received training in kuchipudi and bharatanatyam lessons from them, had captivated ‘rasikas’ across India as well as abroad.Auteur Adoor Gopalakrishnan had made a documentary on Leelamma.