Fr. Abel started in 1968 as Christian Arts Club in a small room in
Kochi’s Broadway, with one harmonium, two fiddles, and three kids is today
not only a towering presence in Kerala’s art landscape, but a significant
presence in countries like Qatar, Dubai, & Oman, and now coming to more
countries like Singapore.
In 1969, the very next year, Kalabhavan came into existence as the formal, organized avataar of Christian Arts Club. Against struggles of various kinds, Kalabhavan grew, and grew so fast that it required a new four-storey building by the fifth year. Now Kalabhavan has two four-storeyed buildings and one three-storeyed building. Kalabhavan enjoyed the patronage of Syro-Malabar Church’s head Cardinal Parecattil and Malayalam’s most celebrated singer KJ Yesudas in those critical years. Soon Kalabhavan also branched out from its core expertise in music, to dancing, acting, and painting classes. Later came the patronage for drama. Kalabhavan’s musical capabilities grew from strength to strength, and it is also credited with Kochi’s first large-scale musical event, with 50 artists and 60 instruments, and led by none other than Yesudas. Moving with the times, Kalabhavan also developed special skills in teaching mimicry, pop music, & cinematic dance. Today Kalabhavan does not require any publicity or testimonials, as some of the most established and succesful artists in the Malayam film & art industry are former Kalabhavan students whose success and acclaim are a confirmation of the Institute's pedegree..
What a life it was! In the Kerala Catholic Church Fr. Abel, CMI, was a towering figure, having crafted much of its liturgy, including its songs, when the liturgical language was changed to Malayalam from Syrian. But in the state’s secular world, Fr. Abel had an equally impressive life, having created this art abode, Kalabhavan, that nurtures thousands of talents every year. Fr. Abel was originally an academician, having done his doctorate in Journalism & Politics from Rome International University, and having taught at Devagiri College, Kozhikode. But nothing could silence the humming within. Looking back, Kalabhavan’s success can largely be attributed to two philosophies that Fr. Abel taught and lived. Love art and serve art lovers, without any considerations like caste, creed, rich, or poor.
40 years track-record. Hundreds of committed teachers. Around 28 art forms to choose from. More than 60,000 students already completed their training. While some pursue it as a hobby, thousands have been gainfully employed as artists, and more than a hundred have went on to become celebrities. Are any other reasons required to explain the 4000 to 5000 students enrolling here each year? Kalabhavan is the unique art academy never before attempted by the government or organized sector, and never likely to be attempted also.
After the resounding success in Middle East hubs. Kalabhavan is coming to serve other cities that enjoys strong cultural ties with Kerala and India. The international franchise centres of Kalabhavan will have the full support of the mother centre in Kochi, by way of expertise and faculty support. Kalabhavan hopes to serve more than just Indians, considering other nationalities patronage for arts, and the children’s passion to be versatile performers.
There are lot of artists from kalabhavan who were not with us. but they all will live in our hearts. The artists like Sainudheen, N F Varghese, Kalabhavan Santhosh,Machan Varghese etc are some of them. Here we are trying to give a detail section for these artists.