Saturday, December 18, 2010

Balasaraswathy , Dhanammal and T.N.Rajarathinam

T.N.Rajarathinam Pillai

Thanjavur Balasaraswathi

Veenai Dhanammal

On the 3rd of December 2010 , The department of Posts , released 3 stamps to honour 3 great Geniuses in the world of Music and Dance. Two of them T.N.Rajarathinam Pillai and Balasaraswathy are connected to Cinema and hence form part of my collection.

TNR was born on 27th August 1898 in Thiruvaduthurai ( Tanjore Dist.). He was sent to learn vocal music and gave his first concert at the age of 7. On the insistance of the elders in the family and those of the late Natesa Pillai ( a legendary Nadaswaram Vidwan) he was sent to learn Nadaswaram from A Kannuswami Pillai. He mastered the art with a great deal of hard work and practice. He was famous for his alaap of ragas which would at times last for hours.

He acted in the Movie "Kalamegham" - This film was made in 1940 , directed by Ellis R Dungan on the life odf the poet Kalamegham. The film also had N S Krishnan and Mathuram. The heroine was Dhanalakshmi and the screenplay and lyrics were by Bharatidasan.

T. Balasaraswathi - The legendary Bharatanatyam exponent and her great grandmother Veenai Dhanammal were honoured with stamps on the same day - a first time in Philatelic History. Bala, as the Satyajit ray film on her was called , was born on the 13th May 1918. She was skilled in music and took to dancing , mastering it with a wide repertoire at her command. She travelled widely across the country and all over the world. She was Honoured with the Padma Bhushan and the Sangeetha Kalanidhi among many other awards. She passed away on 9th Feb 1984.

Her Great Grand mother was born in George town in 1867 and mastered both Veena and Vocal Music. She had a long innings of 60 years of Music and did not much care for performing before latge audiences but preferred to give her recitals before a small group of knowledgable Rasikas. She passed away on 15th October 1938. She was held in awe and was much respected for her Knowledge and life style.


Vasu Raghav said...

Thanks for the excellent information about the stamps on T.N.Rajarathinam Pillai, Thanjavur Balasaraswathi and Veenai Dhanammal. I also appreciate the details given by you about these legends because almost none of the present generation may even know who they are. Vasu Raghav. said...

I love reading about people who are placed on stamps. Happy Holidays!

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.