K.P. KITTAPPA PILLAI - A true sangeetagna
As I stand in front of the sanctum sanctorum
of the Lord of the Universe, at the
Brihadeeswara temple, Kittappa Pillai’s
words “Neenga poyi Avarai paarthuttu vaanga” (Go
have darsan of Him and come) ring in my ears. Those
were probably the last words the great natyacharya
uttered before he slipped into his final moments
before joining his illustrious ancestors – the Tanjavur
Quartet on the following day – 30 October 1999.
I was fortunate to have worked closely with him in
the two-and-a-half years before his death, on a book
of rare compositions in the Tanjavur repertoire of
Bharatanatyam. It was a very emotional experience
for me to have been present during the last few hours
of Tanjavur K.P. Kittappa Pillai.