Mumbai, Nov 2 (IANS) Glowing tributes were paid to legendary dance guru T.K. Mahalingam Pillai — who trained many of the top Bollywood actresses — on his 100th birth anniversary here.
Hailing from Tanjavur in Tamil Nadu, Pillai, who was the moving spirit behind the Sri Rajarajeswari Bharatha Natya Kala Mandir, brought life to Bharatnatyam through the renowned institution.
On his birth centenary, over a 100 students including some from the US, presented a tribute, ‘Natya Samarpanam’ at the Shanmukhananda Hall here on Wednesday night, said a spokesperson K.A. Vishwanathan.
“Among the personalities who trained under him were Gopi Krishna, Sitara Devi, Waheeda Rehman, Kamini Kaushal, Damayanti Joshi, Padma Subramaniam, Nalini Jaywant, actresses Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini who are better known as the Tranvancore Sisters, among many others,” Vishwanathan told IANS.
Guru Mahalingam Pillai had come to Mumbai along with his father Guru T.P. Kuppiah Pillai, brother K. Kalyanasudaram, and brother-in-law Guru A.T. Govindaraj Pillai, all exponents of the Bharatnatyam dance form.
A student of Guru Mahalingam Pillai, Padma Subramaniam, who is now a dance choreographer and music director in Chennai, said it is only in the field of dance that students of any age first touch the feet of their Guru before any performance, speaking of the tremendous respect for their teachers.
The memorial show was attended by R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, a descendent of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj clan, Babaji Raja Bhonsale Chhatrapati, who is current titular head of the Thanjavur Maratha royal family, and president of Shanmukhanda Fine Arts Sabha V. Shankar.
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