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Tribute to Krishnaveni Lakshmanan
- Maya Vinayan

April 4, 2024

On the evening of 16th of March, 2024, Mayura and Hamsa Balagurunathan, daughters of acharya V Balagurunathan, organised and presented a tribute to their late grandmother, Guru Krishnaveni Lakshmanan of Kalakshetra at Rukmini Arangam, Kalakshetra for her 82nd birth anniversary celebrations.

The event began with a welcome note by Mayura Balagurunathan and followed by a short photo and video presentation of their grandmother. The presentation was very touching and personal, sharing snippets from pivotal moments in young Krishnaveni's life. It revolved around her love for the dance form and her dedication to Kalakshetra and Rukmini Devi Arundale. The anecdotes described the life of Guru Krishnaveni Lakshmanan through the memories of her friends and family.

Hamsa and Mayura
Hamsa and Mayura

Mayura and Hamsa inaugurated the evening with 'Snakes & Ladders', drawing the ups and downs of life depicted in the Mahabharata from the point of view of Vidhura (uncle of Kauravas and Pandavas). In an hour of pure story-telling, their intricate characterisation and depiction of the story was magnetic and full of colours. Directed by their acharya and father V.Balagurunathan, the music was skilfully crafted to suit the scenes and mood by Dr.Rajkumar Bharathi, recorded by Sai Shravanam (Resound India). The resource person behind this project is Dr.Sudha Seshayyan who originally coined it as 'Vidhura Neeti'.

Following the spectacular rendition, the twins presented the Kalakshetra Foundation a cheque of 1.2 lakhs as a scholarship fund in loving memory of their grandmother Krishnaveni Lakshmanan. This will go towards the scholarship fund presented to the outstanding students in their respective academic years. Honourable guests and Krishnaveni's dear acquaintances like Prof. Jayalakshmi, Savitri Jagannath Rao, Ambika Buch along with the director Suresh Kumar Chikkala and principal Subbaiah graced the occasion wishing the girls for their commendable contribution in the name of their grandmother Krishnaveni.

Hamsa and Mayura with Balagurunathan
Hamsa and Mayura with Balagurunathan handing over the cheque to the director

The second half of the event was a soulful rendition of the Andal Charithram - "Naarananum Nalayiramum" by Shreedevi Jayakrishnan (Faculty Member, Kalakshetra Foundation) with live music. Her rendition sent the audience on a journey of pure devotion. The rest of the event concluded in a calming wave as Mayura and Hamsa rendered their vote of thanks.

Maya Vinayan
Maya Vinayan is a Mohiniattam and Bharatanatyam dancer based in Chennai.

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