Ganesan is now fifty seven. Beginning a glorious career in performing arts by helping his father mottaiyan in puppeteering, he graduated to orchestrating separate acts all by himself even at the age of fifteen. He journeyed into koothu at the age of sixteen with the initial role of kattiyangaran , in the footsteps of his grandfather sadaiyan.
Mantling the role of women for ten years, his mastery of even smaller roles is a testimony to his genius. Blending a new language , aesthetics and technique with the matchless rendition of tradition, be it dhuriyodhanan or langeshwaran, or even roles that are imperceptible , when he gets on to the stage, one can expect him to perform in a manner that sets the ultimate benchmarks for all the aspects of a koothu performance – voice, act, psyche, behaviour, aesthetics. Completely flawless in execution and not a bit down on the part of artistic grandeur.
Apart from this, his technical superiority also has its roots from his knowledge and expertise in making the puppets in leather by himself, playing of the instruments such as melam and the box, instruments for the male parts in koothu, costumes and colours that go with it- such is his skill, almost a polymath and an encyclopedia when it comes to this art, it is obvious that he would have reached greater pinnacles of recognition if he had had the choice of formal education.
The two day interaction with him on the premise of sangeet kala academy ‘s association with kalari to conduct puppet performances in delhi has been the core base for the interview given here.