S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Friday, 27 October 2017

KattumannarKoil Muthukumara Pillai

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Kattumannar Koil Muthukumara Pillai. A name that still glows in the  annals of Bharatanatyam  of Indian dance, some 143   years after his birth and 57 years after his death.

He was an unusual phenomenon. A product of   unique blend of deep spirituality and instinctive love for the dance. The spiritual side of his personality lent a luminous glow to his art.

He was the only dance master of the old tradition who had a career as a performer also. Notably, he dressed up and danced as a girl, a woman.

He survived a dark period when the dance, then known as Sadir, was looked down upon by society and virtually driven out of existence. But he did more than that; he served as a guardian of the true greatness of tradition and succeeded in propagating it far and wide through his teaching.

He was a great teacher with a missionary zeal, deep dedication and a stern sense of discipline. 

M.K. Saroja, Rukmini Devi, Mrinalini Sarabhai, Muthuswami Pillai, Kamala, Ram Gopal, Nala Najan, Janak Khendry...who distinguished themselves in dance...were all privileged to learn from him.

The world of dance, of Bharatanatyam, has ample reasons to remember him with gratitude. 

                                                      To read full story, visit sruti.com and buy Sruti 108

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