Leela Samson won the Padmasri for her work in Bharatanatyam. Tonite, she is performing upon invitation from Pandit Jasraj. You decide which is the bigger honor.
On the occasion of the 34th Annual Pandit Motiram Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroh from 30th November to 3rd December, the Department of Culture is organising a Bharata Natyam recital by Leela Samson today at the Nizam College grounds.
Leela Samson is among India's most dynamic and technically brilliant dancers, an outstanding representative of Kalakshetra, the famed institute for the classical arts founded by the late Rukmini Devi Arundale.
Leela joined Kalakshetra as a young child, and her formative years were spent in imbibing the nuances of Bharata Natyam and related arts at the feet of celebrated gurus. Over years of independent work, her dance has metamorphosed from the best of her alma mater into an exquisite personal expression.
Leela's performances are popular all over India and in many countries of Europe, Africa and the Americas. She has choreographed a number of group and solo compositions in Bharata Natyam. One of her major choreographic productions, Spanda, was performed to high critical and audience acclaim, and hailed as a seminal work. She has trained many accomplised students who are now teachers in their own right. She has authored several articles, as well as the book Rhythm In Joy.
Among the many honors conferred on her, was the prestigious Padmashri in 1990 by the President of India in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the art of Bharata Natyam. She also won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2000, the Nritya Choodamani Award in 1997 and the Sanskriti Award in 1982 instituted by the apex cultural body of the Government of India.
In memory of his late father Pandit Motiram and brother Pandit Maniram, Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj organises a music festival every year at the Nizam College grounds, where his father and brother taught music to several students. He has the Department of English named after him at the college, as the Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj International Centre of Cultural and Aesthetic Studies. The entry to the samaroh is free.
Please contact the Department of Culture at 2324-2482, for further details.