CHENNAI: The affinity that she shows towards her disciples is boundless. And it is amazing how she is looked upon with reverence, love and affection by her students — young and old alike. The reason is that this artiste treats each of her students with empathy and abundance of affection — a trait which she has inherited from her father (Kalaimamani guru Udupi Lakshminarayanan).
She is none other than senior dancer Udupi Madhumathy Prakash, daughter and disciple of Kalaimamani guru Sri Udupi Lakshminarayanan. She is emerging as the prima-dona in establishing the tradition started by her father — the founder of Natya Manjari, the well known dance academy, which is glorifying the culture and tradition of Bharathanatyam as envisioned by Bharatha Shastra Ratna Kancheepuram Sri Ellappa Mudaliar.
Madhumathy holds a bachelors degree in Indian music and Master of Fine Arts in Bharathanatyam. This seasoned artiste is a recipient of several coveted awards and honours including Best Dancer Award from various institutions.
A well recognised bharathanatyam performer and choreographer, Madhumathy has considerable achievements — both as a leading dancer in solo performances and in group presentations. While several dance ballets of different types — Dasavatharam, Shiva Leela Vinodham and Sri Rama Charitham — are based on traditional themes, her exceptional ability lies in choreographing and linking the swaras to various ragas, integrating with the frame work of bharathanatyam, particularly in ballets like Geetha Nritya Saman Vaya and Swara raga, Sudheelalya.
“As music is the back bone of dance and is coupled with dance, I insist that every one of my students should compulsorily learn music and dance. This is the top priority of our academy,” she added.
She comes from a family of orthodox Sanskrit scholars. Her great grandfather was a scholar well versed in Vedanta Nyaya, Vyakarna and Tarka, and used to teach Madhathi Pathis.
Her father, who has creditably trained many artists of repute including Emi Mayuri (Film Star), the incredibly-flexible Prabhu Deva and his two brothers, learned Sama Veda after six years of school and studied in Pejawaur Mutt Swami Visweswara Theertha at the Mutt.
Having widely travelled to African countries, Sri Lanka and Japan, she has won the Best Women Achievement Award for the year 2013. She is also the author of two books Laghu Nritya Sangrha (a book on theory of bharathanatyam) and Udupi Sphoorthi Ranjanam, a collection of compositions by her guru and father, rendering their swara prayogams and meanings.
She concludes, “I would like to emulate my father, whose devotion to his guru Ellappa is unfathomable and his organisation of the programme titled Guru Charana Smaranam to pay homage to his guru is an indicator of his guru bhakti and guru-sishya relationship.”