||Kathak Guru Pt. Sundaralal Gangani passed away on December 17, 2013 at Baroda.|
Burnier passed away on October 31, 2013 in Chennai
at the age of 90. The first student to graduate
from Kalakshetra, she was the niece of Rukmini
Devi Arundale. She was the granddaughter of
Nilakanta Sastri, the most authoritative scholar
and historian of South India. Radha was also a
very close friend of philosopher and educationist
Jiddu Krishnamurti who established the Rishi
Valley schools. She often visited the schools
herself and monitored them. She was a thorough
Theosophist and was the last connection to the
great theosophical movement that contributed to
India's independence movement. She was serving her
5th term as the president of Theosophical society
Here is a rare dance clipping of Radha Burnier
dancing in Jean Renoir's film 'The River' in 1951.
On nattuvangam is the legendary Dandayudhapani
Pillai who was a staff member, senior guru and
teacher in Kalakshetra in those years.
||Dr. Leela Pai (FRCOG
& Fellow of the Royal College London), a very
well known and much sought after gynecologist in
Bengaluru passed away on October 2, 2013 after a
brief illness. Dr. Leela Pai is the elder sister
of Shanta Dhananjayan.
||A performer of the
Punjab gharana of Kathak, Tara Chaudhri, popularly
dubbed the Pavlova of the Punjab, passed away on
Sept 22, 2013 at Karachi in Pakistan.
vocalist, composer and Odissi musicologist Pt
Raghunath Panigrahi passed away in Bhubaneswar on
Aug 25, 2013. He was born on 10 August 1934 in
Gunpur of Koraput District in Orissa. Pt Raghunath
Panigrahi learnt from his father Nilamani
Panigrahi, the classical way of singing Gita
Govinda as preserved in the temple of Jagannatha
in Puri and is known for his lifetime contribution
towards promoting, propagating and popularizing
the life and works of Jayadeva in the Orissa
He met Sanjukta Panigrahi at Kalakshetra where she
was learning Bharatanatyam and married her in
1960. A regular artist of the All India Radio
since 1948, Panigrahi also lent his voice in
playback to several films produced in Orissa and
in South India. He sang when he was only 19 in the
film 'Ilavelpu' for superstar N T Rama Rao. The
song was a super hit. He even sang for Tamil and
Kannada films and his voice became an instant hit.
He left a promising career in film music in
Chennai to provide vocal accompaniment to Sanjukta
Panigrahi for her Odissi programs and together the
duo enchanted the audience for many years from the
70s till the 90s. In 1976, they jointly received
the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. After the death
of Sanjukta in 1997, he was associated with
Nrityagram and composed music for many of their
productions. In 1999, he formed the Sanjukta
Panigrahi Memorial Trust to promote the cause of
Odissi dance. Since 2001, every year on her birth
anniversary, the trust has been giving away
scholarships to budding dancers, and awards of
excellence in the field of Odissi dance.
Pt Raghunath Panigrahi was honoured by the French
Government in 1976. In Nov 2008, he received the
first Jayadeva Samman, Padma Shri in 2010. On
August 23, 2013 Ravenshaw University awarded him
an honorary doctorate at his residence.
||Odissi Guru Muralidhar
Majhi passed away on 22nd July 2013 on Guru
Purnima day. A torch bearer of Guru Pankaj Charan
gharana, he was a professor of Rabindra Bharati
Saraswathi Sundaresan, Director of Vipanchee,
passed away in Chennai on July 13, 2013.
||Emily Mayne (Feb 8,
1952 - May 29, 2013), a disciple of T
Balasaraswati in the United States, breathed her
last after suffering from cancer.
Mridangam vidwan G Ekambaram passed away at
Kanchipuram on May 23, 2013. Ekambaram had
accompanied T Balasaraswati, her disciples
Priyamvada and Nandini Ramani as well as their
students in India and abroad from 1958 to 2006.
KP Bhaskar, a leading light in the Indian dance
community of Singapore and former president of WDA
Singapore chapter passed away in Singapore on the
morning of April 17, 2013 due to heart related
maestro and composer Lalgudi Jayaraman (Sept 17,
1930 - April 22, 2013) passed away in Chennai
after a brief illness. He mastered the nuances of
Carnatic music under his father Gopala Iyer's
guidance, starting his music career at the age of
12. He accompanied many stalwart vocalists before
becoming a solo violinist. Jayaraman crČeated a
new style popularly known as Lalgudi bani, a style
that seemed to make the violin sing. He composed
kritis, varnams and thillanas in Telugu, Tamil,
Kannada and Sanskrit. While Jayaraman's
compositions are a standard highlight of every
leading Carnatic musician's repertoire, he was
also well known for his dance compositions that
are very popular with Bharatanatyam dancers. He
composed music for the dance dramas 'Jaya Jaya
Devi' and 'Pancheswaram' apart from other dance
compositions. He has composed special scores for
dancers Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam, Urmila
Sathyanarayanan, Nandini Rangan and Chitra
Visweswaran. His score for the film 'Sringaram'
(2006) won him the best music composer award from
the Govt of India. He was credited with creating a
wide range of ragas. Lalgudi Jayaraman and his
contemporaries MS Gopalakrishnan and TN Krishnan
are known as the violin trinity.
Jayaraman has been honored with Padma Shri in
1972, state vidhwan of Tamil Nadu in 1979, Padma
Bhushan in 2001, lifetime achievement award by
Music Academy in 2008. He was awarded the Sangeet
Natak Akademi fellowship in 2010 and was the first
musician to be honoured with the Chowdiah Memorial
National Level Award for his outstanding
achievements as a violinist. He received honorary
citizenship of Maryland, USA, in 1994. He is
survived by his wife, son GJR Krishnan and
daughter GJR Vijayalakshmi, who are both
violinists in their father's tradition.
maestro Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair (May 25, 1925
- March 11, 2013) passed away at his residence in
Vellinezhy, Palakkad, Kerala. The son of Oppath
Narayanan Nair and Thenginthottathil Kunhumaalu
Amma, he performed characters in kalluvazhi
tradition of Kathakali and excelled in Kathi and
Vellathadi characters. He was a disciple of
Pattikkamthodi Ravunni Menon who took him to
Kerala Kalamandalam at the age of 13. He later
became a teacher there and retired in 1985 as the
principal of Kalamandalam, his service there
spanning nearly four decades. Kathakali actors
Kalamandalam Gopi, Kalamandalam Balasubramanian
and Kalamandalam Vasu Pisharodi are some of his
Ramankutty Nair became famous for his role of
Parasurama in 'Sita Swayamvaram,'
Hanuman in 'Thoranayudham,'
'Kalyanasougandhikam' and 'Lavanasuravadham,'
Ravana in 'Udbavam', Sisupalan in 'Rajasooyam',
Duryodhana, Keechaka, Narakasura and other
negative heroes. For the purity of his style and
his eminence as an exponent and teacher of
Kalluvazhi Chitta, Ramankutty Nair was known as
'Panini of Kathakali.' He received several honors
- Padma Bhushan in 2007, National Sangeetha Nataka
Academy award, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi
award, Kalidas Samman from Madhya Pradesh govt,
Emeritus fellowship from Human Resources
Development of Govt of India in 1999 and was the
first artist to receive the Kathakali Puraskaram
He wrote his autobiography 'Thiranottam.'
Filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan made a documentary
film titled 'Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair' in
2005. The Kathakali exponent was accorded a gun
salute and cremated with full state honours in the
compound of his house.
Master of Perfection by K. K.
Bharatanatyam dancer Malavika Sarukkai is
bereaved. Her mother Saroja Kamakshi passed away
in Chennai on March 4, 2013.
||Bharatanatyam Guru M.N.
Suvarna passed away on February 15, 2013. He was
an exponent of the Thanjavur style, and spread his
art through his institution Arunodaya Kala
Musician and composer Atul Desai passed away in
Canada on January 20, 2013. Trained in Hindustani
vocal music by Pt. Omkarnath Thakur, Atul Desai
has composed music for all of Ahmedabad based
Kadamb's dance presentations, for the Bharatiya
Kala Kendra, music for children's productions, TV
films, radio features and plays.