................... By L. Baba Prasad
The 83rd birthday of guru Kalanidhi Narayanan was celebrated at another notable yesteryear dancer's place on Dec. 7, 2011. It was held at the Spaces on the Elliots Beach Road, the home of dancer Chandralekha which now has a space for performances.
Dancers Bragha Bessel and Sangeeta Isvaran organised a performance called ‘Unusual Padams and Javalis’ to celebrate their guru's birthday.
It was a packed morning where the students of dance from various schools including Kalakshetra were present to celebrate and honour the abhinaya exponent. Kalanidhi Mami, as she is called affectionately by the dancers community, is known for her abhinayas for padams. Dancers like Leela Samson, the director of Kalakshetra and scholars like Pappu Venugopala Rao, Gowri Ramnarayan, senior dancers Prof. C.V. Chandrasekhar, Adyar Lakshman and art patrons like Cleveland Sundaram were seen at this warm function.
Mami also enthralled the audience by demonstrating a few abhinayas for the padams sung by Dr. Subhashini Parthasarathy and Geetha Raja, on the spot, sitting on the chair. A Padma Bhushan awardee, Kalanidhi mami is quite unassuming and teaches even today to interested students of dance.