Bharatanatyam exponent Priyadarsini Govind will be the new Director Kalakshetra, a Chennai-based school for classical dance and music.
The union culture ministry cleared her name following the recommendations of the search committee, sources said. The post had fallen vacant after Leela Samson, who is currently the censor board chief, demitted office in 2012. Kalakshetra was set up in 1936 by Rukmini Devi Arundale.
The academy was also symbolic of the struggle for India’s Independence; it was to culturally revive a country that was losing its identity under British rule.
The government took over the institute in 1993 and declared it as institution of national importance under the ministry of culture.
Government sources said Govind had accepted the responsibility and is likely to take up the new assignment soon. Govind specialized in abhinaya under ‘Padma Bhushan’ Kalanidhi Narayanan from the age of nine and went on to receive advanced training in Bharatanatyam under Guru Swamimalai K Rajaratnam, an exponent of the Vazhvoor school.
Priyadarsini also underwent training in Kalaripayattu, the martial art form of Kerala and Nattuvangam from Kalakshetra, besides learning to sing and to perform on television.
Priyadarsini’s resume says she has performed across the country and at prestigious venues abroad.
Some of Priyadarsini’s performances were at the Festival of India in Paris, in 1985, the Swarna Samaroh, celebrating 50 years of Indian Independence organized by the Sangeet Natak Academy, the Khajuraho Dance Festival, performances at the Narada Gana Sabha, receiving in turn the
Vasantha Lakshmi Narsimhachari. Priyadarsini was also awarded title of ‘Kalaimamani’ by Tamil Nadu government in 1998.