This issue’s feature article is about U.S. Krishna Rao & Chandrabhaga Devi, the First Couple of Bharatanatyam. They were honoured recently by the Sangeet Natak Akademi which presented one of its 1987 awards to them for their eminence in and contribution to dance. The Bangalore couple are also one of the few around who learned directly from that great dance master Pandanallur Meenakshisundaram Pillai. Their recollections of the master’s way of teaching and his style which now carries the name of his village are also part of the feature, as are the true tales which form the tillana of the three-part recital. Gayatri Chandra Shekar, our editorial associate, spoke at length with the Raos, and also did the needed research, as a basis for preparing the feature.
This issue bears Gayatri‘s imprint in an extended manner because it was she, again, who interviewed vidwan R.K. Srikantan on the teaching of music (27-29). Her questions and the responses of the Bangalore-based performing artist and teacher should be of interest not only to students and other teachers, but also to all who
savour music. The issue carries many other important reports and articles besides the main features : a fully backgrounded piece on a dance-drama aimed at spreading bhakti ; reports on the Nupura festival in Bangalore and the Bindadin Mahotsava in Delhi ; a glimpse of the expanded activities of a major sabha in Trivandrum ; a tribute to Dr. S. Ramanathan who died recently; critiques of two solo-dancer ballets and a ragam-tanam-pallavi recital ; a discussion of certain aspects of Natya Sastra ; book and cassette reviews ; and Sruti Scholastics. The photo on the cover is that of Kuchipudi dancers Manju Bhargavi and Kamala Reddy portraying Siva and Parvati in Hara Vilasam.