AN INTERESTING and informative feature programme on Rukmini Devi and her brain child, Kalakshetra, was broadcast recently on AIR, Chennai, tracing the birth and phenomenal growth of perhaps one of the oldest and internationally recognised cultural institutions started in Chennai several decades ago. Rukmini Devi, whose birth centenary is being celebrated this year, snapped the shackles of a strictly orthodox brahmin society to marry at the age of 16, Dr. Arundale, an English man. With his encouragement coupled with her untiring efforts, enthusiasm and shrewd leadership, Kalakshetra has become a temple for South Indian music and dance. Thousands of artistes, who have had the training at Kalakshetra, are deeply indebted to the institution for the facility that was offered to them in an era when music and dance did not have a strong foothold.
The vocal recording of Nedunuri Krishnamoorthy in the company of Coimbatore Dakshinamoorthy on the violin, Palghat Raghu on the mridangam and the late genius Harishankar on the Kanjira was broadcast on AIR's channel A. Nedunuri's alapana of Kedaragowla was a masterly effort followed by ``Tulasi Bilva" by Tyagaraja embellished with very pleasing swara sequences. The tani avartanam on the mridangam and kanjira was crafted with authority and perfection. ``Tunga Theera Virajam" in Salagabhairavi and Patnam Subramaniya Iyer's Khamas Tillana packed with energetic fervour were pleasing tail pieces.
BY A CORRESPONDENT
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