Thursday, 20 August 2015

A missing link to past and present Tribute to a centenarian: Periya Sarada of Kalakshetra - The Dhananjayans

As children we always wondered about this wonderful lady genius.  All those who were interested in delving deep into the subject of music and naatya dreamt of scaling her heights, an impossible task indeed.  Periya Sarada teacher’s presence in the Kalakshetra campus was a great boon and inspiration to everyone, irrespective of whether they were teachers or students. Any subject, anytime and anywhere - a person of her scholarship was available in Kalakshetra to us students and she liberally shared her knowledge with others.
Periya Sarada was one of those great souls who have sacrificed their lives for the development of Kalakshetra, with total commitment from the inception. We used to wonder how Rukmini Devi managed to produce her monumental dance drama productions in the languages she did not know.  Whether it was Telugu, Tamizh, Malayalam or Samskritam, only Sarada Teacher could convincingly explain the deeper meanings of the words to match the creativity of Athai – the other genius.  Only Sarada Teacher could convincingly interpret Athai’s compositions and attribute a deeper meaning to her choreography.                                             

Read the tribute in the site


  1. Thanks for this lovely post. My 6 years in Kalakshetra were blessed by the benign presence of Peria Sharada Teacher.

    I remember her sitting me down to explain the poetry and the context, for every small or large role I have had the privilege to perform as a student at Kalakshetra
    Her warm praise, " Romba nanna abhinayam panne" when as a sakhi in a small role I caught her attention , still makes me smile with pride !

    Such selfless Gurus, come once in a millennium. It was indeed my blessing, to be her student
    Ananda Shankar Jayant
    Kalakshetra student (1973-79)

  2. I had the unique privilege of accompanying my Guru Sri Adyar K. Lakshman on several occasions to Peria Sarada Teacher's house in the Theosophical Society when she was bedridden. She used to call for Sir and when we went there she would make him sit by her side and ask him to sing all her favourite compositions..And silently tears will be flowing down her cheeks..she would get so emotional on just hearing the songs...I deem it a great good fortune to have been in the presence of someone as great as Sarada Teacher...Truly great souls indeed...