Song of Surrender

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Veterans pass away

Adyar K. Rama Rao, veteran vocalist, nattuvangam artist and gottuvadyam player, passed away on 3 May 2015 in Chennai. He was the elder brother of Guru Adyar Lakshman, and an alumnus of Kalakshetra. He served his alma mater for several years and was also associated with Darpana Academy in Ahmedabad. He also provided accompaniment for senior Bharatanatyam exponent Komala Varadan in Delhi. On his return to Chennai he became part of the faculty in Vyjayantimala Bali's dance school and soon became an integral part of his brother Adyar Lakshman's institution Bharata Choodamani. ABHAI – Association of Bharatanatyam Artistes of India – honoured him with the title of Kala Seva Nidhi Lifetime Commitment Award in 2014.

G. Karunambal of Sri Rajarajeswari Bharata Natya Kala Mandir, Mumbai, passed away on 29 April 2015. She was the daughter of natyacharya T. Kuppiah Pillai, wife of A.T. Govindaraja Pillai, and sister of Gurus T.K. Mahalingam Pillai and Kalyanasundaram Pillai. She and her husband were among the first teachers to travel to Bombay to teach Bharatanatyam. Starting with private tuitions they went on to become part and parcel of the Rajarajeswari school from the day it was founded in 1945. She was the leader of its cultural troupe which performed in 15 cities in America and Canada in 1995, as part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Kala Mandir. She served as principal of Sri Rajarajeswari Bharata Natya Kala Mandir for several years and trained over a hundred students including famous dancers like Damayanti Joshi, Kamini Kaushal, Nalini Jayawant, Guru Mani of Kalasadan, Praveena Vashi, Sudha Chandrasekher, Lakshmi Iyer, Jayam and Asha Amarnath.

Sruti's heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved families.

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