Classical dancer Vijaya Mukundan, co-founder of Salangai Academy in Tiruchi, was feted for her contribution to the art, with the title “Nrithya Sevika” by Naadhabrahmam , a monthly devoted to music, in Chennai rcently.
Ms. Mukundan was awarded the “Nritya Sevika” for dance along with S. Rajeswari, T.K. Padmanabhan, and Nellai D. Kannan, who were feted with the title “Naada Sevika” for their contribution to music.
The artistes received their citations from veteran dancer, V.P. Dhananjayan. The magazine conducts music and naatya festivals in Chennai, Tiruchi, and Delhi.
Besides Bharatanatyam, Ms. Mukundan’s repertoire extends to Mohiniattam, Odissi, Kathak, and Kuchipidi. Along with her husband E. Mukundan, she founded the Salangai Academy of Indian Classical Arts, 25 years ago. Through their five centres in Tiruchi, the Mukundans have trained around 1,000 students. Ms. Mukundan, who commenced training at the age of seven in Shoranur, trained at the Kerala Kalamandalam later, before joining the Song and Drama division of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry in Delhi, as a staff artiste.
Working as a dance instructor in Chennai, she enriched her art under the aegis of V.P. Dhananjayan and his spouse Shantha. The Natyanjali festival, an all-night dance extravaganza in Tiruvanaikaval, is a signature event of the academy.