Chennai: Noted Bharatanatyam exponent and 'Guru' of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, KJ Sarasa, died here on Monday following a brief illness.
   
Expressing her grief, Jayalalithaa said the 78-year-old exponent's death was a big loss to those involved in the art of Bharatanatyam.
   
"She had contributed immensely in this field," Jayalalithaa, who described Sarasa as her 'Guru', said in a statement.
   
Recalling her career spanning 50 years, Jayalalithaa said Sarasa had trained many dancers, besides being "the first woman nattuvanar", a key composition in a Bharatantyam recital.
   
A recipient of many awards including the state government's 'Kalaimamani' award, Sarasa hailed from the family of the legendary KN Dhandayuthapani Pillai and a disciple of another Bharatanatyam veteran, Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai.

(Agencies)