A Tribute to a Legend by Legends

Text: BR Vikram Kumar

Kala Pradarshini, Center for Performing Arts and Cultural Activities under the supervision of Bharatanatyam exponent Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala organised ‘Legends Dance to Songs of the Musical Genius’ to celebrate the 96th Birth anniversary of Padma Shri awardee and legendary music composer Ghantasala at Narada Gana Sabha in Chennai on October 5.

Gana Gandharva Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao has kept the music lovers in India enchanted for several decades. People will forever remember his works in Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Tulu and Hindi films. It was the second year of ‘Kala Pradarshini Ghantasala Puraskar’. The event had two segments of music and dance. The evening began with the singing by junior super singers under the guidance of Saluri Vasu Rao. Youngsters did a commendable job, singing popular songs of Ghantasala. A dance recital by the artistes of Kala Pradarshini followed it.

Then came the most interesting part of the evening that everybody in the auditorium has been looking forward to – legends of Indian Classical Dance, performed to songs of Ghantasala. Padma Bhushan awardee Prof. CV Chandrasekhar, Bharatanatyam exponent; Padma Shri awardee Dr Vyjayanthimala Bali, Bharatanatyam exponent and film actress; Padma Bhushan awardee Dr Saroja Vaidyanathan, Bharatanatyam exponent; Padma Bhushan awardees The Dhananjayans, Bharatanatyam exponents; Padma Shri awardee Dr Sobha Naidu, Kuchipudi exponent and Padma Shri awardee Leela Samson, Bharatanatyam exponent paid tributes to Ghantasala by performing to some of his popular songs.

These acclaimed exponents who gave their own touch with captivating choreography selected light and semi-classical numbers of the Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao. The gathered audience in the auditorium thoroughly enjoyed the performances except for the disturbance from the back-lit led screen which masked the expressions of the artistes. Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala must be lauded for her organisational skills and her effort in bringing such acclaimed legends of Indian Classical Dance on a single platform.