Purandaradasa – A Tribute to the Father of Carnatic Music

Photos: Murali Santana

Photos: Murali Santana

HOUSTON: The story of Purandara Dasa is a universal saga that is relevant to people across all ages. He is a famous historical figure renowned for the story of his mythical transformation and enlightenment and is revered as the father of Carnatic Music. His compositions are set in simple words, which exude devotion, common sense and philosophy. His works have universal appeal. His contributions to Carnatic music are immense, as he introduced the method of teaching music systematically which is followed even today.

The production “Purandara dasa – the saga of a saint” by Dr. Sreedhara of Kaveri Natya Yoga of San Antonio was presented as a part of Rasaanubhava 2018 by Indrani Parthasarathy of Abhinaya School of performing Arts with her students. The episodes of a miserly man turning to a musical genius, and through Bhakti (devotion) and music reached the heavenly abode of Lord Vittala. The event was held at Berry Center, on April 14.

Dance and music connoisseur Tara Narasimhan of Hindus of Greater Houston said, “Such an exquisite production by Dr. Sreedhara of Kaveri Natya Yoga of San Antonio and Indrani Parthasarathy  and her students of Abhinaya School that presented The Saga of Purandaradasa. Congratulations to Indrani and Sreedhara. Music, Choreography, Abhinaya and pertinent portions were well chosen and made it one of the finest dance drama.”


Prior to the dance drama all advanced and senior students of Abhinaya School confidently performed traditional Bharathanatyam dances like Pushpanjali, Thillana, Shabdam, Varnam, Padam and more. After the dance drama, Beginners, junior and intermediate students performed colorfully choreographed dances to classical, folk, semi classical and contemporary classical music.

The director Indrani Parthasarathy well versed in the Pandanallur style of Bharathanatyam and also trained in Kuchipudi style of dancing is the daughter of the Karnataka Kalathilaka Guru Smt. Radha Sridhar of Bangalore. She has to her credit more than 100 solo performances and has been a performer in India, UAE and USA and has been a part of her mother’s dance drama productions. Indrani established the Abhinaya School of Performing Arts in 2001, which is originally based in Katy, and has now has grown and has branches in Cypress. Two other staff members Krithika Ganesh and Anupama Nagasimha assist in teaching and in the institutes other activities.