We are aware that Kalakshetra, a bastion of traditional and contemporary arts, was bequeathed by Tamil Nadu from Rukmani Devi Arundale and undoubtedly, this institution strives to carry into the future, the thread of its vision and contribution to the nation.
Gayathri and Balagurunathan, products of this world-famous Institute Kalakshetra, have carved a niche for their innovative ideas and apart from imparting training, in Bharathanatyam through Krishnanajali, their dance academy also conduct special training in Indian folk dances and Nattuvangam.
Belonging to the lineage of the legend Krishnaveni Lakshmanan, former Principal of Kalakshetra her daughter (Gayathri) and son-in-law (Balagurunathan) with an innervating force, are committed to nurturing the arts. They have produced several inspiring creative productions revealing, that ultimately, the charm of their presentation lies in their sprightly dancing with harmony, revealing the soul of the scripts and their thorough home work, with impeccable co-ordination.
“I could not have lived without dance, it was in my blood and soul,” Gayathri says. Certainly dance was in her veins, it was her forte. The duo have toured extensively to countries such as USA, Thailand, Mauritius, South Africa, Singapore, etc and they are often selected to present and demonstrate papers at the official high level seminars and conferences.
How many artistes like this duo, would have had an opportunity to present performances for Bill Clinton, the former US President at Rashtrapathi Bhavan and in the presence of present President of USA, Barack Obama, in the APEC meet in Singapore of ‘All Presidents of the World’ and how many would have had an opportunity in presenting thematic shows on HIV/AIDS awareness, that won her state awards.
Balagurunathan, born into a family with nine generation of Sivachariars, at Karaikal Ammaiyar Devasthanam and grew up watching his father performing Pooja and Mantra, became the life partner of Gayathri, by curious turn of events in their life, and it was god’s will, that they would tour the world.
With extensive experiences as senior tutors, both of them trained in vocal and Nattuvangam have also undergone in Kalaripayattu and ‘folk dances’ training at Darpana, Gujarat, have participated in several Kalakshetra and Theosophical Society productions.
Certainly with the expressional abilities of the duo with highly communicative netrabhinaya of Gayathri and the fully developed all round skills of Balagurunathan, they are moving beyond the inevitable note of déja vu.