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Bharatanatyam guru Adyar K Lakshman is no more
CHENNAI, August 19: Bharatanatyam guru and choreographer Padmasri Adyar K Lakshman is no more. He passed away on Tuesday night (August 19, 2014) at a hospital in Chennai. He had suffered a stroke, and the end came reportedly due to respiratory complications. He was 81, and is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

Born on December 16, 1933, Adyar K Lakshman hailed from Kuppam in Chittur District of Andhra Pradesh, where his father Krishnaraja Rao was posted as a school teacher. Lakshman began his education at Kalakshetra in 1944 when he was 11 years old. He had his early training in classical arts from Rukmini Devi. He trained in Bharatanatyam with a host of illustrious teachers such as Rukmini Devi, Karaikal Saradamba Ammal, Peria Sarada, Sarada Hoffman and Mylapore Gowri Ammal. He also got training in vocal music from eminent people such as Tiger Varadhachari, Veena Krishnamachari, Budalur Krishnamoorthy Sastrigal et al.

Kalakshetra student
Lakshman graduated in 1954 in Bharatanatyam, Carnatic music and nattuvangam. He stayed on in Kalakshetra, received a Government of India scholarship, and got his post-graduate diploma in 1956. He then went on to specialize in Mridangam learning from Tanjore Rajagopala Iyer, V Vittal Iyer and Karaikudi Muthu Iyer. On leaving Kalakshetra, Lakshman felt there was a necessity to become a teacher more than a dancer. He taught for more than a decade in Vyjayantimala Bali's school Natyalaya. He founded his own dance school Bharata Choodamani Academy of Fine Arts on August 22, 1969.

Titles aplenty
Lakshman had composed dance for various dance pieces such as invocatory items, jathi swarms, varnams and thillanas. His dance-drama productions include Varunapuri Kuravanji and Aiychiar Kuravai. He had choreographed classical dance sequences in films such as Hamsa Geethe, Subba Sastri and Ananda Tandavam. He had been honored with many prestigious awards and titles. He was awarded the Kalaimamani title by the Tamil Nadu Government in 1981, Padma Shri by the Central Government in 1989, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1991, and Sangeetha Kala Acharya by The Music Academy in 2004.