“ Sujatha Vijayaraghavan has brought out the essence of the Tyagaraja Aradhana festival in Cleveland. The crisp and lucid language of the report has helped those who did not attend the festival this year to obtain a visual image of it.- ” A feedback comment in Sruti , the arts and music magazine from Chennai.
Coming face to face with Sujata Vijayaraghavan is to have a conversation with an intelligent, articulate and pleasing personality. We are in fact sitting in the elegant living room of her equally talented daughter Sunanda Narayan,where the décor clearly indicates the artistic and creative impulse of its residents.
Back to the present. She is visiting her daughter Sunanda Narayan , a dancer and teacher in the Greater Boston area and uses her time here by holding summer camps to kids to teach the essence and form of the dance. To her a student of Bharatanatyam should learn music as well, since the style can be best expressed once the dancer understands the nuances of the art. We ask her about the importance of a highly ostentatious Arangetram that are becoming the rage of the day.She shares the view that this has also become the norm in India but believes that parents must be given the choice of how they would like the event to be. To quote from a piece on Bharatanatyam written by her “ The very attractiveness of the art at the superficial level is the factor that lures the girls and their parents. Who would not like his child to be dolled up in dazzling finery “ and then “Arangetram is a more a social function to show off the parent’s affluence than showcase the child’s proficiency in art. Very often, this alone is the motivation to pursue the art. Which is a sad thing for the pupil,the parent and the art “
Sujata has had a checkered life. Her biodata speaks volumes on her creativity, talent and expertise. She is an accomplished choreographer, a fine musician and has given performances all over in Carnatic vocal music, Hindustani Bhajans and Light music. She has trained in the Carnatic style from illustrious artists like her own mother Smt Ananthlakhsmi Sadagopan, Sri Sunderrajan, Sri C.Sankarasivam,Trivandrum, Sri R.S. Mani and Semmangudi Sri R. Srinivasa Iyer. An All India Radio Artiste, she also has a music album of compositions of Ambujam Krishna :Gitamala, Vol 1 and is an active public speaker in English and Tamil. She is also an active member of the EXNORA movement dealing with environmental issues and civic cleanliness. A prolific writer, she has written features and articles on Music and Dance and also published a novel Arangam in Tamil on Carnatic music.
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Sujata with daughter Sunanda
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