As a child born in a devadasi family in Madurai, and as a young vocalist touring Tamil Nadu, MS Subbulakshmi had wide exposure to sadir performances.
More over, her veena artist mother Shanmukhavadivu’s close ties with the Dhanammal family led to joyous bonding between the then young MS and Balasarswati.
There were dance and music exchanges between MS and Bala, who were both destined to become maestros in their fields.
We also know that MS taught some abhinaya to step daughter Radha and niece Anandhi, and sang for them when the duo gave Bharatanatyam performances in the 1940s.
But few know that MS did abhinaya to a song composed specially for this purpose – no, not in public. But a series of those photographs were published in Kalki magazine in 1941.
“Less known facts about the legend from MSS's grandniece Gowri Ramnarayan, songs by Nisha Rajagoplan, the tall and slim Priyadarshini Govind's expressive dance completely in line with the theme, and music left the audience in the jam packed auditorium wanting more. That was the MS effect!”
Sruti Magazine, March 2016
“Made possible by the endeavours of Priyadarsini Govind (Bharatanatyam dancer), Gowri Ramanarayan (raconteur) and Nisha Rajagopalan (Carnatic vocalist), the evening brought alive images of MS — the pottus on her forehead, eyes closed, ‘kadalagi kasindu urugi’ (love and bhakti pervading her very being); nevertheless, Gowri chose to reveal another side of MS’s personality.”
The Hindu, March 2016