Friends recall contribution of dance guru Lakshmi Vishwanathan
She was a warm person with a kind word for everyone and hers was a life well-lived and one that has given so much joy to others, says N. Ravi
It was a gathering of friends, family and people who knew and enjoyed being with dancer, scholar, choreographer, writer and teacher Lakshmi Vishwanathan who died recently.
N. Ravi, Chairman of Kasturi and Sons Ltd., publishers of The Hindu, recalled that Lakshmi was a remarkably talented human being. A warm person with a kind word for everyone. Hers was a life well lived and one that has given so much joy to others. If he were to describe Lakshmi in one word, it would be aesthetics. The way she walked, spoke and gestured, there was aesthetics. She always looked immaculate. It was as though she was ready to break into a dance, he said.
Filmmaker Rajiv Menon recalled how some of her interactions used to be casual and she would just say, “let us meet for a drink and discuss.” She had this ability to meet people and make friends. She wore her intellect, her classism lightly and would not talk down people. We are grateful for the four books she wrote and the legacy she has left behind.”
Journalist Susheela Ravindranath said Lakshmi was great fun to be with and talk. “I will miss our early morning talks. Even this morning, there was something in the newspaper that I wanted to discuss with her,” she said.
Lakshmi’s sister and Carnatic vocalist Charumathi Ramachandran recalled how she was always Lakshmi’s shadow and she went along with her to her dance classes to learn the songs. “The year that she gave her Arangetram, I was born. I asked my grandmother where I was when she danced. Paati told me that I watched the performance sitting on her lap. I have been watching her dance all these years,” she said.
Lakshmi’s sister Sujaya Menon, dancer Roja Kannan, author of a book on the Thirumurai Shantha Narayan, Meenakshi Chittaranjan, dancer-actor Shobana, industrialist Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti and research scholar Avanti Meduri paid homage. Dancer Divya Devaguptapu, a student of the Dhananjayans, presented the life of Lakshmi in dance.
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