Saturday 14 July 2012

Profile - My beloved Vadyar Swamimalai K Rajarathnam Pillai - Sandhya Sree Athmakuri,

Perhaps I was one of his very few Telugu students, and perhaps the only one who had the great fortune of doing gurukulavasam with him.  Yes, I was one of the few privileged disciples who travelled all the way from Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, for a period of 10+ years, stayed with Vadyar and was able to observe him up close.  I would watch with amusement as he would be deeply engrossed in watching any MGR movie on TV, when he would play with Nrithya (singing ‘jannakitta girrakitta” for her), Abhinaya or Rasika and even Aravind…all his favorite grandchildren at that time.  I watched in equal amazement as he took classes from 7 am in the morning through the evening, hour after hour, giving individual and absolute attention to each of his senior students.  I specially mention this because I have often seen many teachers make their senior students take class for the average students and give their personal and privileged attention only to the good students. But not Vadyar… whatever be the capabilities of the student, he took class for them with the same commitment and passion.  Not just classes but the performances of all students, irrespective of their performance caliber were also conducted with the same fervor.  That he customized his choreography to match the physique and artistic potential of each of his students, is a known fact in the world of Bharatanatyam.

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1 comment:

  1. Chandrika Chandran24 August 2016 at 23:20

    So well written Sandhya and that too fully from the heart! I had the good fortune of learning under Vadyaar but only for a short period of 6-8 months. I was also struck by his simplicity, sincerity, affection and his great musical voice and choreography. It affected me deeply to hear of his sudden demise. He brought back a deep interest in dance within me which was sadly fading away before I started learning from him. I am ever grateful to him for that.