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Tribute to Natyacharya Rajee Narayan
- The Dhananjayans

September 30, 2020

It is sad to note the passing away of Rajee Narayan of Mumbai. A Vaggeyakara by all virtues, she was an inspiring Natyacharya loved and respected by the Bharatanatyam fraternity. A very humble, simple person with great scholarship in naatya, music and literature is a rare phenomenon in the performing arts world.

We had a very close relationship with her with mutual admiration and respect. We had taken up a couple of her compositions for our Bharatanatyam repertoire and popularised them among Bharatanatyam artistes and teachers. Especially the "Gokulabaala Gopiyar lola" in Kalyani raga become a favourite of not only Bharatakalanjali alumnus but also other schools around the world. We always acknowledged her contribution and each time we presented, announced her name. Somehow that would reach her ears in Mumbai and the next day, she would call us to thank us for the same. That childlike simplicity brought her closer to the naatya fraternity. The Raama Sabdam (Dasarathan than, tanayanakiya) is yet another popular repertoire from Rajee Amma's innumerable compositions. Apart from her Tamizh compositions, her Hindi and Marathi songs made inroads into the hearts of Bharatanatyam practitioners around the globe. She has disciples all around the world continuing the great legacy of a great Natyacharya.

It is sad to note that her devoted son Shyam Sundar Narayanan who looked after her very carefully and meticulously till the end, died a few days before her. He was an integral part of Shanmukhananda Sangeeta Sabha in Matunga, Mumbai, and helped visiting artistes, assisting them on stage and technical needs. Whenever we visited Mumbai, he used to take us to meet his illustrious mother. We would miss him as well.

We offer our obeisance and tributes to the mother and son.

The Dhananjayans, Bharatakalanjali, Chennai.

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