Follow us

The art of the padam lives on
- Kay Poursine

February 25, 2019

When I attended the 70th year of Sarasalaya event in memory of guru KJ Sarasa, I was not prepared to experience the effortless, excellent dance by Janaki, editor-in-chief of Sruti magazine.

After watching the younger students of Sarasa, with their obvious sincere efforts which included a shabdam, the svarajati Mamohalahiri and padams, I was stunned by Janaki's adherence to the most important rules of padam execution; walking to the tala beat, hastas reflecting the flow of the swaras and structure of the poetic text, and a total involvement of intellect. All these should combine for a padam to be fully appreciated. Janaki not only walked consistently to the tala (which is rarely seen in the present scene) but her facial expression also showed a seamless intellectual involvement with the poetry and music.

I can't express my delight and surprise when Janaki began the first line of "Aduvum Solluvaal", by Subbarama Iyer in raga Saurashtra. She possesses the kind of intellect and response to the music that is the foundation of the padam art. I'll return to the US with a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart that the art of the padam lives on in the 21st century!

Kay Poursine is a student of T. Balasaraswati and Nandini Ramani.