Memorable Guru Samarpan
Photo: G Venket Ram

November 16, 2014

Meenakshi Chitharanjan, a very senior artist of Pandanallur tradition, disciple of doyen Chokkalingam Pillai and Subbaraya Pillai gave a scintillating recital as Samarpan at Music Academy on November 1, 2014 before a packed auditorium including artists, critics and connoisseurs. Revathy Sankkaran very ably anchored the tribute to Pandanallur tradition with apt introduction of Sundarar's tevaram on Pandanainallur.

Meenakshi true to Pandanallur tradition aptly chose the margam which commenced with a Guru Sthuthi “Sri Rajarajeshwari” followed by an Allaripu interspersed with Abagara Nindhai. She then chose a Sollukattu Jathiswaram characteristic of Pandanallur repertoire in Thodi ragam. The piece de resistance was the Vachaspathi varnam “Sarasuda” composed by senior guru Meenakshi  Sundaram Pillai specially for royalty presented by his senior bewitching disciple Pandanallur Jayalakshmi which not only made the King present his diamond ring to the Guru but resulted in his marrying the dancer, the King having fallen head over heels in love with the talented pretty damsel. The varnam was interspersed with intricate jathis choreographed by Meenakshi and her crisp nritta with araimandi and adavu shudham beautified by her nritya kept the audience spellbound. The portrayal of “Nenorva” in charanam in Melkalam was very appealing.

Vijayanthimala Bali was nostalgic while speaking about Meenakshi who concluded the homage with a Saindhavi ragam javali “Ittusahasamulu” of Maharaja Swathi Thirunal where the devotee  says that she may be eventually ready to be united with the Lord when she comes of age.

Meenakshi is a perfect combination of nritta, nritya and natya with her arraimandi adavu shudham and nuances of Pandanallur school richly apparent. Undoubtedly she is a great asset to the Pandanallur tradition. Pandanallur Pandian wielded the cymbals with good music by Gomathy Nayagam, effective percussion support by Saktivel Muruganandam, Kalaiarasan on violin and Srinivasan on flute who all embellished the recital.