Guru Sri K.J.Govindarajan

Kiranoor Jayaraman Govindarajan was born on October 19 1934. His musician mother was a great influence on him when he showed signs of aptitude for the arts. Those days,Tanjore was the seat and citadel of carnatic traditions and he grew up in a atmosphere soaked with music and dance. He trained under Vidwam Narayanswami of Thirumaigyanam and Issaimani T.V.Namasivayam of Tiruvarur. This training stood him in great stead when he undertook training in Bharatanatyam from Pichaiya Pillai Vidyalaya of Tanjore. In the 1950’s he also learnt how to sing Tiruaruptpas of Ramalingaswami in the traditional format at Chidambaram temple from Kiranoor Arutjothi Vallalar, Astana Ramalingaswamigal Vallar devotee, Kripasamudra Swamigal.

Armed with all this, this excellently equipped artiste moved to Delhi in 1960 with Sikkil Ramaswamy Pillai, his mentor. Delhi then, was a fledgling cultural city; not a single auditorium was built and there was no mandi house culture. At the Triveni Kala Sangam, amongst the first institutions, he joined Pillai in helping teach music. It was later that he also started teaching dance. It was in this phase that several students came under his eye: Jamuna Krishnan,Jaya Shankar Menon,Radha Marar,Rasika Khanna,Kiran Segal and whole lot of youngsters.

His warm, genial personality and his abundant devotion to both God and his art found ready takers amongst such of those adherents who were attracted to his brand of Bharatanatyam. He was generous and gave as much as a disciple could take. He is amongst the few nattuvanar, or dance conductors,who were known for impeccable personal standing. Living a Spartan, simple life, he rose to become a leading light in the dance community and attracted all and sundry.

He traveled far and wide. His exposure to the divine element in dance made him closer to the themes which conveyed this rasa. Dispite his short height he towered over Delhi dance scene. His own off springs, all of them took to stage under his guidance. His eldest son Vasudevan a trained percussionist lives in Montreal, Canada, Elangovan an accomplished singer and violin player, Raghuraman a well know flautist and Vani an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer. Together the foursome formed a term of orchestra which helped the cause of dance and served music.Students found all ingredients of dance related activities under one roof.

As a creative artiste he was not limited by traditional mould but created a new. Thus he composed two pushpanjalis, AyyappanKautvams,14 Varnams,6 Jatiswaram’s,10 Padams, 20 stutis and bhajans, 8 tillans and 6 dance drams.His style was a fine blend of tradition and demands of contemporary time limits.        


An autobiographical Tribute by Sri.Asish Kokar,Excerpts taken from First City Newspaper.      



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