Tribute to Rukmini Devi
A life well lived, well remembered...

March 10, 2012

Renaissance, pioneer, enduring, illustrious, consummate, ingenious, unprecedented... One name from the artiste fraternity that could worthily follow these adjectives is Rukmini Devi Arundale whose name spells history, and history that repeats itself time and again. As ‘Rukmini Athai’ is being fondly remembered all over the world on her 108th birthday through numerous tributes, memorials and reminiscences, it has brought about an overwhelming opportunity to revisit her life and her art.

Hari Hara Arts Academy under Guru Pasumarthy Ramalinga Sastry, the veteran alumni of Kalakshetra, presented a fitting testimonial to the great legend in Hyderabad recently. The event imprinted a haul of elegance in totality with none other than The Dhananjayans lending their esteemed presence, Dr. Sunil Kothari presiding over and Guru Ramamurthy being felicitated at the event.

While it was a heartening sight to see the auditorium at Potti Sriramulu Telugu University brimming with artistes, teachers and connoisseurs, the attendance was but justified with gurus VP Dhananjayan and Shanta Dhananjayan reliving their moments of glory with Rukmini Devi Arundale in their memorial lecture.

The Dhananjayans

Bharatanatyam Guru Ramamurthy (Kalakshetra alumni in the forties) and his wife being honoured and felicitated . Flanked by Dr. Sunil Kothari, The Dhananjayans


Prof. Pasumarthy Ramalinga Sastry giving vote of thanks

Attributing their poised life to their alma mater, the Dhananjayans shared how being one of the erstwhile disciples of Kalakshetra gave them the best of the art, discipline and culture. That academic education was not a dire necessity and holistic education in arts practiced with sincerity helps in carving the niche was a point that went out as a strong message to the younger generation. Shanta Dhananjayan rather emotionally shared the fact of them being polished as finer human beings by Rukmini Athai herself and held it as the most valuable gift for life!

A traditional Bharatanatyam margam presented by the alumni of Kalakshetra and students of the University of Hyderabad could not have been more apt for it was proof enough of tradition being passed on through generations intact as Rukmini Devi herself established and dreamt of.  Given Guru Pasumarthy’s high caliber innovative intricate choreography and the standards that the University of Hyderabad is well known for, the recital fit perfectly as a tribute from the future torch bearers of the art form. What instilled further confidence in the pedagogy retaining its shine was the diligent presence of the entire art students’ force for the programme.