• Ganesan Pillai
  • Laxmi Narayana
  • Balasaraswati
  • Laxmi Knight
  • Aniruddha

Creativity in the hereditary style grows out of expanding exploration of the dance form from within. The richness of the traditional repertoire of music and the extraordinary nature of the nature of the music itself, the expansiveness of the melodic and rhythmic characters of South Indian music provides scope for new art emerging from the traditional form, without the insertion of novelty. The depth of Balasaraswati’s family repertoire is unrivalled, and represents almost the entire seventeenth to nineteenth century collection of musical compositions and various dance compositional forms from the same period.

Aniruddha’s family is remarkable not only for maintaining a continuous performing arts practice with stylistic continuity, but also for learning from and being influenced by composers, musicians, and dancers from outside of the family, including artists from outside of the regional music culture, and adapting that body of music to the evolving family style. The extended family’s vast repertoire of more than one thousand orally retained compositions and intimate knowledge of the performance of more than one hundred ragas embraces the core of the South Indian musical tradition. At the same time, a process of change characterized this family’s artistic depth and persistence, as was common to other families who were hereditary practitioners of many things. Aniruddha was taught to make art, just as his mother had been taught how to make art, and so on. Aniruddha does not represent a static historical ersion of Bharata Natyam, he embodies an art that is by its very nature going to change.

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