‘Music, Dance, Cinema – A Flashback and Progress’ by Lakshmi Sundaram is an interesting compilation on artists whose contribution enriched the three art forms. These are articles the author had written in newspapers/journals of the North two decades ago.

Marriage to IAS officer G. Sundaram took the author, who hails from Pathamadai, Tirunelveli, to New Delhi. Finding that Arts of the South and the artists were not projected in the newspapers there, Lakshmi sought to fill the void. “The newspapers in Delhi readily came forward and published my articles after my personal interaction with some of the young and up-and-coming artists of Chennai,” she says in her foreword. The dailies include The Asian Age, Financial Express, The New Indian Express, The Hindustan Times and The Hindu.

A quick look at the pages…

Lalgudi Jayaraman, Maharajapuram Santhanam, K.J. Yesudas, Vani Jairam, Veena Gayatri and Unnikrishnan are some of the musicians featured. Highlights of the section on Tamil cinema which recently celebrated its centenary include Sivaji Ganesan, AVM, S.S. Vasan, MSV, Maniratnam, K. Balachander, P. Suseela and K.S. Chitra. Vyjayantimala, Travancore Sisters – Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini, Sudharani Ragupathy and Padma Subramaniam make pages dealing with Dance colourful.

Pictures of the artists then (black and white) and now make for interesting contrast. The articles too, written over two decades ago, when some of today’s celebrities were starlets.

Priced at Rs. 499, the volume, published by Palaniappa Brothers (28132863), Chennai, was released at the Music Academy during the Music Season.