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A Living Stream of Tradition

On Sunday afternoon, October the 20th, the rains washed the festive streets of Chennai. Sitting cozily, inside the cool, mini-hall of Narada Gana Sabha, I witnessed the true meaning of संप्रदाय : Sampradaya. Four exhuberant classical dancers, the senior alumni of Kalakshetra, shared their insights about devoted teachers, and visionaries like Smt. Rukmini Devi, Sarada Mami, and others. They spoke about संप्रदाय, a living stream of tradition that has flown through the veins of each classical dancer, who graduates from this renowned institution. In their golden seventies, Smt. Ambika Buch, Smt. Kala Ramesh Rao, Smt. Shanta Dhananjayan, and Smt. Savitri Jagannath Rao, recollected their student life in Kalakshetra. Dancing, and demonstrating the nuances of this unique, living tradition, they glowed with radiance and joy. Bedecked in beautiful orange, magenta, green, ochre, and gold Kanjeevaram silk sarees, I admired their deep sense of fraternity.