Sixty years after her arangettam, at the age of 12, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at a function organised by Bhavalaya

Taking up everything in life with grace, Kalakshetra Vilasini emerged the tallest figure by being the guru to the most number of Bharatanatyam dancers and teachers across the State.

Sixty years after her arangettam, at the age of 12, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at a function organised by Bhavalaya, a Muscat-based cultural platform promoting traditional classical arts.

The function held at the RLV College of Music and Fine Arts, where she was responsible for opening a Bharatanatyam department, was a homecoming of sorts for the guru.

She addressed Bharatanatyam students in her typical style, conversing with what she is best at — mudras and eye movements. Art is not a pastime entertainment, she said.

“It is worship. The very first two items of Alarippu and the Varnam are termed the offering to the Lord — all bodily movements.”

Rigorous training to achieve perfection in the dance art form is necessary. The revered teacher earned her title of Kalakshetra Vilasini by teaching her students strictly in the learning regime of Kalakshetra she conceived in her own way.

As a dancer, she was picked from over a hundred artists to learn at Kalakshetra when the Bharatanatyam department was conceived in RLV College.

Speaking at the occasion, lyricist R. K. Damodaran said in spite of being a highbrow guru, her demeanour was like a person next door.

More In: Kochi