Natya Manjari celebrated its golden jubilee recently.

The dance institution Natya Manjari recently celebrated its golden jubilee and the 85 birthday of its founder, Bharatanatyam legend Guru Udupi Laxminarayan, at The Music Academy. The programme began with P.R. Venkata Subramanian’s recital on the keyboard. This was followed by Master Ashwath P. Acharya’s invocation; a visual presentation of the biography of Udupi Laxminarayan and a dance programme by Emi Ogawa Mayuri and her disciples.

Lord Siva's ‘Saptha Thandavam,’ a thematic programme with concept and choreography by Guru Udupi Madhumathy Prakash, was presented next. The lyric and musical score were by vidwan P.R. Venkata Subramanian. This reverberating number had all the elements such as the jatis, rendered by Madhumathy was excellent. Swara sequences, the sancharis and the straight interpretation of the lyrics were marvellous. It brought out the unique features of  Ellappa Mudaliar’s rare Kancheepuram style, a tradition propagated today by Guru Udupi Laxminarayan, and continued by his daughter Madhumathy Prakash. This was followed by  the DVD release of ‘The Kancheepuram style of Dance’ and the release of the souvenir.

The dignitaries were Vishweshwara Tirtha of Pejawar Mutt, Udupi, Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetti, Padma Subrahmanyam, Nandini Ramani, M. Narendran, CMD, Indian Overseas Bank, and Masanori Nakano, Consul General of Japan in Chennai. Vocalist Shanthi Jayaraman was honoured with the ‘Natya Sangeetha Vidhushi’ title for her achievements in the field of music.