BEVERLY HILLS, CA - Kikkeri Laxminarayan Prakash, the well known personality in Southern California’s art circles, passed away after battling cancer, on Apr.7. He was 65. In the Southland, as news of his passing spread, he was remembered for his warmth and his gentle regard for all.
Born in Karnataka to Gowramma and K. V. Laxminarayan, Prakash grew up in Nagpur where he had his early education. Later he moved to Pilani and earned his degree from the Birla Institute of Technology. He came to the US in the fall of 1969 to attend UCLA, where he obtained a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. He worked in Milwaukee and Maryland before returning to his beloved Los Angeles to work for the Atlantic Richfield Company where he was a senior financial analyst and a consultant.
In 1976 he married Viji Jannah, the well known danseuse and the two of them made their home and raised their two children, Mythili also a dancer and Aditya who has gone on to become a musician. The backbone and inspiration behind the founding of the Shakti School of Dance, Prakash took early retirement to help his wife pursue her passion in establishing the dance company. Her passion became his passion. He took keen interest in each one of the students, encouraging them in their pursuit of dance. Prakash was the backbone of Shakti, helping his wife in present major dance productions around the world and further, encouraging his daughter and son to achieve their dream of becoming artists by taking them to India several times each year to learn their art from gurus in India in addition to their training here in the US. His pride in his children was clear when they staged the well produced ‘Mara.’ In that show, he even turned lyricist with his son setting his verse to music and his daughter choreographing movement to it. Apart from his immediate family, he leaves behind his mother, son-in-law, brother, sister, and an extended family of in-laws, nieces, nephews and grand nephews, as well as hundreds of friends.