FACT MOHANAN, born on May 14, 1959 at Aluva (Ernakulam district, Kerala), after school education, joined FACT Kathakali school in 1973 for a six-year course in “Kathakali vesham”(acting). He was trained by veteran artists like Kalamandalam Karunakaran and Kudumaloor Karunakaran Nair. Then he got two years scholarship from UNESCO under Guru Padmasree Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair with a higher diploma in 1981 and joined Vijnanakalavedi School, Aranmula, as the main Kathakali teacher. For 22 years he worked in this institution and himself trained many Indian and foreign students. Many of his students have taken this as their profession and are continuing their higher studies in many recognized institutions, inspired by his teaching. He is the Director of “SAMSKRITHY” Centre for Indian Performing Arts, and “CHILANKA” Dance & Music Academy, Aranmula. He is also working in Sree “VISHNAVAM” Kathakali School, Thiruvalla as the main Kathakali teacher.
His debut was in 1974. He is very active in this field since then and has performed major characters in different stories for more than thousand stages both in India and abroad. Inaugural function of “Asian games” in New Delhi (1982), ‘Sikkim Autumn Festival’, ‘Kerala Festival’ in London are some of his major performances outside Kerala. He choreographed new Kathakali plays and codified new hastha mudras for them (‘Abrahaminte Bali’, ‘Mudiyanaya Puthran’ [2 stories from the Bible] and ‘Kattalan’ from a malayalam poem) and played key roles in those plays with great success. He composed ‘Maruthi-Dhananjayam’ – the meeting of Arjuna and Hanuman at Ramasethu in Rameshwara, based on Mahabharata.
He gives demonstrations for school and college students and has helped many amateurs become Kathakali connoisseurs all over Kerala. He has a keen interest in “Angikabhinaya” and in codifying new mudras for plays based on authoritative texts like Hasthalakshana Deepika, Natyasasthram, Balarama Bharatham, etc.
He has been honoured with Best Kathakali Actor Award by District Kathakali Club, Pathanamthitta 1998, Vijnana Kala Vedi, Aranmula 1998, Thapasya Kala Samskarika Vedi 2002, District Kathakali Club, Kottayam 2006 and has received Chengannur Ramanpillai Award – 2007 (Chengannur Ramanpillai smaraka samithi) , “Thauratrika Sree” Award – 2013 (Kshethropadesaka Samithi, Parali Devi Temple, Ernakulam) etc…
His wife Kalamandalam Sreedevi Mohanan is a famous classical dance performer and choreographer and Director of ‘Chilanka Dance & Music Academy’, Aranmula. Daughter, Anjana. S. Mohanan is a classical dance performer, Carnatic Vocalist and currently working as a Guest Lecturer in Bharathanatyam at RLV College of Music and Fine Arts, Tripunithura and son, Aravind.S. Mohanan is a Mridangist , Kalarippayattu and Violin student.