Dancer Geeta Chandran and her disciples pay tribute to her Gurus on Saturday, June 1st, 2024 at Tamil Sangam Auditorium

Dancer Geeta Chandran and her disciples will be performing BHARATNATYAM to pay tribute to the great Bharatanatyam Guru/ Choreographer/ Composer (Padmashri) KN Dandayudhapani Pillai and his younger brother Guru KN Dakshinamurthi Pillai on Saturday, June 1st, 2024 at Tamil Sangam Auditorium, RK Puram, New Delhi at 6.30pm.

Dancer Geeta Chandran's disciples

Disciples: Madhura Bhrushundi, Sowmya Laxmi Narayanan, Anandita Narayanan, Yadavi Shakdher-Menon and Shikha Gusain.

Accompanists: Varun Rajasekharan-Nattuvangam, K. Venkateshwaram-Vocal, Manohar Balatchandirane-Mridangam and G. Raghavendra Prasath-Violin.

This performance will present compositions of Guru Dandayudhapani Pillai from his ADAL ISAI AMUDAM book of compositions. These includ Jatiswaram, Varnam and Tillana – the entire Bharatanatyam Margam, as it were.

Dancer Geeta Chandran is the most well-known disciple of Guru KN Dakshinamurthi Pillai, younger brother of Guru KN Dandayudhapani Pillai.

According to Geeta, Guru Dakshinamurthi taught her invaluable lessons of the performance-craft oriented to the stage. He also taught her nattuvangam and encouraged her to begin teaching at Natya Kalalayam and later encouraged her to begin her own institution Natya Vriksha at which he guided her closely in its initial years.

BRIEF BIO OF GURU KND: Born on 14 July 1921, Dandayudhapani Pillai started training initially in music under his father, but later turned to Bharatanatyam and learned under his grandfather, who was a teacher of the dance form. Subsequently, he joined Kalakshetra of Rukmini Devi Arundale as a teacher where he taught for a number of years.

After leaving Kalakshetra, he earned high repute for himself both as a Guru producing some of the finest dancers of the time and choreographing for films – including a Hollywood production THE RIVER. He was also particularly renowned for the producing several glamorous dance dramas, especially the traditional kuravanjis.

Some of the prominent students of iK N Dandayudhapani Pilla were: Smt. Vyjayanthimala, Srividya, and J. Jayalalitha.

He was an exponent of Bharatanatyam and dedicated his entire life to popularize the dance form. He travelled widely and was known internationally. He received laurels from various leaders of countries and heads of state.

He was the recipient of various titles, some of the prominent ones being: Natyakalanidi, Natyakalachakravarthy, Kalaimamani. In 1971, he was the first Bharatanatyam Guru to receive the title of ‘Padmashri’ from the President of India.

He passed away on 12 October 1974, a few weeks before the silver jubilee celebrations of his Natya Kalalayam institution planned for 17th November 1974.

The book of his compositions entitled ‘Aadal Isai Amudam’ will remain an eternal treasure for all Bharatanatyam artists.