The Rs. 5 commemorative stamp of Thanjavur Balasaraswathi, which was issued on 3rd December 2010 by the Department of Posts, together with a stamp released for her grandmother, the legendary Veenai Dhanammal!
Thanjavur Balasaraswathi was born on 13 May 1918 into a family of musicians. Her mother Jayammal was a versatile singer and an accomplished tabla player. Her great grandmother was the legendary Veenai Dhanammal. All her family members were musicians and earlier generations had renowned dancers.
Balasaraswathi‘s interest in dance & music led her to learn Bharatanatyam and music from renowned teachers, soon becoming an artist of excellence. Known for her mastery of “abhinaya” she could portray any song imaginatively, without any anticipation. She had a rich repertoire, with well over 5 Alarippus, 19 Jatiswarams, 8 Sabdams, 13 Varnas, 97 Padas, and 51 Jhavalis etc. She visited Japan and England. In England she had the honour of performing on eight consecutive nights in the Edinburgh festival. The Sangeet Natak Akademi conferred upon her its prestigious national award and she received the Padma Bhushan in 1957, the title of Sangeeta Kalanidhi in 1975 and Doctorate in 1978. On 9 Feb 1984, the illustrious Balasaraswathi passed away.