Born on 18 January 1922 in Mankompu, Kerala, Shri Mankompu Sivasankara Pillai was initiated in
Kathakali by the elders of his family. He was later trained by Thakazhi Ayyappan Pillai and
Chengannur Raman Pillai, the great exponents of the Southern Kathakali style. He received lessons
in Kathakali literature and Rasabhinaya from Shri Pannisseril Nanu Pillai. Shri Sivasankara Pillai is a
master of various types of Kathakali roles, excelling in the Pacha type. He dominated female roles in
an earlier phase.
Shri Mankompu Sivasankara Pillai is elected Tagore Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for his contribution to Indian dance.