The news has shocked many in the artiste fraternity
Bharatanatyam exponent Leela Samson will relinquish charge as director of Kalakshetra on April 30, it is reliably learnt. Until the Ministry of Culture appoints a new director, Karunaker K. Menon, deputy director, will be in charge of the administration of the institution.
Confirming that Ms. Samson was relinquishing charge, Kalakshetra Foundation's chairman Gopalkrishna Gandhi said if at all anyone should comment on the reason for her decision, it should be her.
However, Ms. Samson, who is on a performance tour, was not reachable for comment.
The news has shocked many in the artist fraternity. Bharatanatyam exponent Alarmel Valli said she was very distressed and dismayed to know about it. “I do not know what the situation is, or why she decided to resign, but it is a great loss to an institution which so many look up to the world over. Leela breathed a fresh, new perspective into Kalakshetra.”
Ms. Samson had a progressive visionary approach, Ms. Valli said.
This, combined with her loyalty and commitment to the ideals of her alma mater, made her an outstanding leader of Kalakshetra. “She is also known as much for her creative energy as for her remarkable integrity and dignity.”
‘A great artist'
Bharatanatyam exponent Malavika Sarukkai said it was a pity that Ms. Samson would not be heading Kalakshetra anymore. “One felt great that an artist like her, who has contributed so extensively to solo in classical dance, was heading the institution. She spearheaded several new initiatives at a time when classical arts need a lot of promotion and support. I am sure she had valid reasons to relinquish her charge, but still, it is a pity.”