The title ‘Natya Kalasarathy’ was given to the Bharatanatyam exponent

Bharatanatyam exponent Meenakshi Chitharanjan was on Monday conferred the title ‘Natya Kalasarathy’ by Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha in recognition of her contributions to the classical dance form as a performer, choreographer and teacher.

Conferring the title, Gopalkrishna Gandhi, former West Bengal Governor and Kalakshetra chairman, said Ms. Chitharanjan was one of the very few gifted persons who was able to connect with her genius and master the medium she had been created for. Mr. Gandhi also launched the 114 edition of the Sabha’s dance festival.

Veteran actor-dancer Vyjayantimala Bali said Ms. Chitharanjan was a flag-bearer of the great Pandanallur Bharatanatyam style. She was now passing on the great legacy to innumerable disciples through her Kaladiksha dance school, she said.

Referring to Ms. Vyjayantimala’s glowing remarks about Ms. Chitharanjan, mridangam maestro Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman said there was no praise higher than one great artiste complimenting another, like “Gary Sobers paying tribute to Sachin Tendulkar”.

Describing Meenakshi as a “meteor that kept rising”, the mridangam maestro said she also had the intellectual insight to inculcate novelty within the parameters of the classical Pandanallur legacy.

Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti, Sabha president, commended the Bharatanatyam exponent and also pointed out that there were several unknown artists across the State who had the potential to become accomplished performers if they were given the right exposure in terms of stage and audiences.

In her acceptance speech, Ms. Chitharanjan said whatever she had learnt and achieved in Bharatanatyam, she owed to support from her family, especially her parents, and her gurus at various stages of her career, from Pandanallur Chokkalingam Pillai, Subbaraya Pillai, Srinivasa Pillai and S. Pandian to Kalanidhi Narayanan and Padma Subrahmanyam.