2006
Born in 1929, dancer/choreographer Chandralekha passed away on December 30, 2006 in Chennai. She had been ailing for some time. She learnt Bharatanatyam from Guru Kancheevaram Ellappa Pillai, and later on went on to revolutionize Indian dance with her interpretation of the kinetics of male and female body language. Labelled as 'non-conformist,' 'maverick' and 'rebel,' she worked with European dancers like Susanne Linke and Pina Bausch and won international acclaim with her Chandralekha Dance Group, but remained a controversial figure in India. She was also a poet, writer and artist. Rustom Bharucha has written her biography titled 'Chandralekha: Woman, Dance, Resistance.'

O S Sridhar, well known accompanist to leading dancers of Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Mohiniattam, passed away in Delhi on October 21, 2006. He was 53. He was the brother of vocalist OS Arun.

Keshav Kothari, former secretary of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, passed away in Noida due to a cardiac arrest on October 16, 2006. Keshav Kothari was a very important personality in the history of dance and folk arts. He was a repository of knowledge and was instrumental in shaping the SNA and supporting many research initiatives in Rajasthani folk culture. The early years of the Festival of India owes much of its programming to him.


Musicologist T S Parthasarathy passed away on October 13, 2006 at Chennai. He was 93.

Bharatanatyam dancer and actress Padmini Ramachandran, passed away at Apollo Hospital, Chennai, on September 24, 2006, aged 74. She was the second of the famous Travancore Sisters along with elder sister Lalitha and younger sister Ragini. She got married to Dr. K T Ramachandran in 1961 and settled down with him in the US. In 1977 she started Padmini School of Fine Arts. She was taken ill when she made her last public appearance at a film function on Saturday 23rd night to felicitate Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. Born in Poojappura in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, on June 12, 1932 Padmini acted in more than 250 films including Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, Telugu and Kannada.

Sivarama Poduval, noted exponent of Edakka, Sopana Sanageetham and Thayambaka passed away on September 5, 2006 at the age of 82. His last rites were conducted with full state honors near his residence at Cherpulassery, Kerala. Aliparambu Sivarama Poduval and his younger brother K P Krishna Poduval were known as the Cherpulassery brothers. Sivarama Poduval has won the State Government's Pallavur Appurmarar Puraskaram in 2005, Kerala Kalamandalam Award in 2003, Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademy Award for Thayambaka in 1989-90 and Guruvayoorappan Award for the best Thayambaka artiste in 1990.


Renowned music critic K S Mahadevan passed away on September 3, 2006 at 6.30pm at his residence in Chennai. He was born in 1913 in Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu.
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Govind Vidhyarthi passed away on August 29, 2006. He was born on May 15, 1912 in Dharmadam, Kerala and studied at the Kashi Vidya Peeth. He became a wholetimer with CPI till 1947. He retired as the Assistant Secretary of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan (born on 21 March 1916) breathed his last at 2.20am in Varanasi's Heritage Hospital on Monday August 21, 2006. He was 90. He was laid to rest in Dargah Fatimaan in the evening with full state honors. Apart from the other instrumentalist Pt Ravi Shankar, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honor of India.

Bangalore based Bharatanatyam guru HR Keshava Murthy passed away on July 22, 2006 at the age of 87. He established Keshava Nritya Shala, trained many dancers and popularized Kannada compositions and Bharatanatyam.

Yakshagana exponent Sheni Gopalakrishna Bhat died on Tuesday July 18, 2006, due to age related ailments at the age of 88 at a Kasargod hospital. He dedicated his life to the promotion of Yakshagana for over 50 years.

Bharatanatyam guru Usha Srinivasan, senior disciple of Dandayudapani Pillai, passed away after a prolonged illness on June 8, 2006 at 2.30am. She was the director of Hastha School of Bharatanatyam, Chennai. She was 54.

N K Sivasankaran (March 31, 1931 April 7, 2006), Kathakali dancer and Retd Professor, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, passed away on April 7, 2006. He was a member of Uday Shankar's dance ensemble and travelled with him all over the world. He has acted in his film Kalpana and his stage and screen extravaganza Shankarscope.

Kathakali singing maestro Kalamandalam Hyderali was killed in a road accident on January 5, 2006 when his car collided with a sand truck as he was proceeding to Kerala Kalamandalam to give music lessons. He was 59. As the first Muslim to overcome social and religious restrictions to take up Kathakali, he had to struggle hard to establish himself till he became an icon in his field. Joining Kerala Kalamandalam when he was 11, he learned Kathakali music there from 1957 to 1965. He served as a faculty member at the FACT school in Udyogamandal and was also a visiting professor at Kerala Kalamandalam. He has won the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademy award and also written his autobiography titled Orthal Vismayam (Amazing Recollections.)