Heisnam Kanhailal, Manipuri theatre great and Padma Bhushan awardee, passes away
Eminent Manipuri theatre personality Heisnam Kanhailal passed away at his Langol Tarung residence in Imphal West district on 6 October 2016, following a brief illness, his family said.
President Pranab Mukherjee presenting the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship to Heisnam Kanhailal, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in October 2012. Image courtesy Press Information Bureau
He was 75.
Known for his experimental theatre and founder of Kalakshetra Manipur in 1969, Kanhailal was awarded the Padma Bhushan this year for his contribution in the field of theatre.
Kanhailal's major works include Tamnalai (The Hunting Spirit), Kabui-Keioiba (Half Man-Half Tiger), Draupadi, amongst others.
He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in direction in 1985 and in 2011, he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Ratna Award, the highest-ranked Akademi award.
Born at Keisamthong Thangjam Lairak on January 17, 1941, Kanhailal was married to theatre activist and Padma Shri awardee Sabitri Heisnam.