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