Dance

Music Academy honour for Leela Samson

Masanori Nakano, Consul General of Japan, Chennai, confers the title ‘NatyaKala Acharya’ on veteran danseuse Leela Samson at The Music Academy onSaturday. The Music Academy president N. Murali is at left. Photo: M. Moorthy

Masanori Nakano, Consul General of Japan, Chennai, confers the title ‘NatyaKala Acharya’ on veteran danseuse Leela Samson at The Music Academy onSaturday. The Music Academy president N. Murali is at left. Photo: M. Moorthy  

The ninth edition of dance festival at The Music Academy here had a befitting start on Saturday with the title of ‘Natya Kala Acharya’ being conferred on renowned Bharatanatyam artist Leela Samson.

She was presented the title and citation by Masanori Nakano, Consul General of Japan, Chennai. Tracing the cultural similarities between Japan and India particularly Tamil Nadu, Mr. Nakano said several Tamil and Japanese words were phonetically similar. Many customs and festivals like ‘Kolu’ and ‘Pongal’ were similar to ‘Hina Matsuri,’ the Japanese doll festival and harvest festival.

Highlighting the popularity of Indian classical dance among Japanese, he said it is time to build on the traditional linkage and take the economic and cultural relations to next level. Mr.Nakano lauded Ms.Leela Samson for her technical brilliance as a dancer and her versatility.

Describing Ms.Samson as a torchbearer of the Kalakshetra School of Bharatanatyam, N.Murali, president of The Music Academy, said she was renowned as a performer, choreographer, teacher and writer. “She was responsible for rejuvenation and resurgence of the institution that fell into a spell of confusion,” he added.

Ms.Samson who is now chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification, reflected on her journey as a Bharatanatyam danseuse and thanked her teachers and cherished her special bond with students. “Art is not high on national agenda now. Many initiatives, including digitisation, remain part of an unfulfilled agenda in Indian art due to lack of funds,” she added.

The dance festival will feature 26 performances over seven days.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 2:38:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/dance/music-academy-honour-for-leela-samson/article6751899.ece

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