From Russia with love for maestro Ilaiyaraaja

Russian ballet artists dance to ‘Poove Sem Poove’ at an event organised to mark his 75th birthday

Published - June 05, 2018 01:15 am IST - CHENNAI

When two ballet dancers from Russia took the floor at Prasad Studios on Monday, they pirouetted to a song that was all too familiar to listeners of Tamil music over the years. The dancers from the Orchid school, based in Rostov-on-don, who have been touring the State on the invitation of the Indo-Russian Chamber of Commerce, met music maestro Ilaiyaraaja and put up a short performance, part of which was a ballet piece performed to his song ‘Poove Sem Poove’.

“We have been dancing to this song as a part of our performances in the State. While we do not know the language, we’ve interpreted it in our own way and the music appealed greatly to us,” said Elena Pliukhina, the lead choreographer and manager of the group.

The Padma Vibhushan awardee had met a group of performers from Russia in 2016 when he performed the same song for them.

‘Art a unifying language’

“Art is a unifying language for all of us from across the world and it transcends boundaries. The best example of this is how the works of Russian composers are revered and heard the world over by several persons, including me,” Mr. Ilaiyaraaja said, after watching the dancers perform to his song. “I truly believe that music or art, in general, is the only thing that can unify a world that is plagued by war and violence and I believe that it should be taken to more people,” he added.

The event was organised to mark the maestro’s 75th birthday, which fell on June 2, and he was felicitated by the Indo-Russian Chamber of Commerce for his contribution to strengthening cultural ties between India and Russia.

The dancers performed in Tiruchi, Erode, Pollachi and Mettupalayam, and have performances lined up in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore.

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