Damayanthi Swayamvaram

Our main dance program this year is Damayanthi Swayamvaram, a program that is over 20 years in the making.

The genesis of this program is from Dr M.L. Vasanthakumari. She came to visit V.V. Sundaram in Chennai to talk about Smt. Krishnaveni Lakshmanan. MLV thought very highly of her as a dancer, and wanted the Aradhana Committee to arrange a dance program that featured her. Smt. Krishnaveni was at Kalakshetra at the time.

MLV said, "I don't sing for dance programs, but I will for Krishnaveni; that's how great I think her dance is." For such a great musician to make an offer like that moved VVS and he agreed to arrange the program.

Unfortunately, it was too late that year to schedule it. The next year also, there were issues bringing the program to fruition, and very shortly after that, MLV passed away. With that, the program was put on the back burner, and before long, Smt. Krishnaveni had also died.

This year, the Aradhana Committee is finally bringing MLV's program to audiences. We consider it to be an unpaid debt that is being honored. It is the same program that was conceived by MLV. The featured dancer is Smt. Krishnaveni's daughter and disciple, Smt. Gayatri Balagurunathan.

The program is dedicated to the memory of the two great artists, Dr MLV and Smt. Krishnaveni, whose concept is being brought to stage.