From Tiruvidaimarudur To Bombay

The cymbal is a concave plate of brass or bronze which produces a sharp ringing sound when struck. A pair of them is used in our music and dance and played by being struck together. In Bharatanatyam, the cymbals are used by the nattuvanar or conductor to keep time. For four generations, wielding the cymbals has been a way of life to the Pillai family which founded the Sri Rajarajcswari Bharata Natya Kala Mandir in Bombay and has been identified with its excellent reputation. The story of this family is a saga of successive generations dedicated to the teaching of dance. It is a story, too, of adaptation to a new environment and lately of subtle changes in style as well in response to changing times, but both achieved within the framework of inherited Tanjavur tradition.