Monday, 3 March 2014

Natyanjali lore; from B M Sundaram

The festival's off hours allows for informal meetings and conversations. And the place to do this is the wedding hall where we all dine, morning, noon and night.

Musicologist B. M. Sundaram who is the repository of infinite information on the classical arts has been with the Natyanjali for 32 years. And he has lots of Natyanjali lore to share.

33 years ago, Dr Kapila Vatsyanan and a small group held a dance event inside the temple here, in the 1000-pillar mantap zone. Helping then was the then local area Collector C K Gariyali.

The next year, local art connoisseurs got together, formed a committee and carried out the revival idea that Dr Kapila had kindled here.

Recalls BMS as the musicologist is known in close circles, " I worked for All India Radio in Pondicherry then and was in Chidambaram to report Dr Kapila's event. The next year, the organizers asked me to announce the subsequent year's recitals and I have been with the Natyanjali ever since!".

Sundaram says that he does not plan tours or accept assignments at Natyanjali time. "I will not skip this festival at any cost," he says.

A day ago, he had a SOS call from his Pondicherry home - his grandson fell ill and had to be hospitalized. BMS hired a taxi, rushed to the hospital and got back on time for the evening's recitals.

Photo here shows B M Sundaram ( in peacock blue kurta) with Dr Ravi of Alagappa Univ. Ravi also supports the Natyanjali emcee team)

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