Chennai January Season performances 
by Lalitha Venkat, Chennai 
Photos: Lalitha Venkat 
January 11, 2004 @ Krishna Gana Sabha 

Bharatanatyam by Narthaki Nataraj, Chennai 

Ananda Shankar Jayant’s recital was followed by a presentation of rare padams and varnams of the Thanjavur Quartette by Narthaki Natraj.  

Narthaki, a direct disciple of K P Kittappa Pillai, is the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for 2003 – 2005 for the preservation and propagation of the Thanjavur style. She has the good fortune of having learnt many rare items of the Thanjavur Quartette from her guru. Her objective is to take the rare mudras and abhinayas of the Quartette and adapt them to choreograph works based on excerpts from epics like Thevaram, Thirupugazh, Thiruvasakam and Divya Prabhandam or songs of Bharatiyar, to name a few.  

“In the name of new, the traditional style is losing its identity. I have to preserve what I have learnt from my guru Kittappa Pillai. My research is based on how the same adavus and footwork can be adapted to different works without changing the purity of the form. The presentation will be new but the old style will still be preserved.”  

Narthaki considers herself fortunate in receiving the prime slots for the season in all the city’s prestigious sabhas who have given her a lot of respect and encouragement. The audiences have also been supportive by responding with appreciative phone calls and emails and Narthaki considers this a great start to the new year.